Gaborik has a seemingly unlimited skill set that helped make him the Minnesota Wild's first-round pick (No. 3) in the 2000 NHL Draft: speed, soft hands, superior puck-handling and a potent, quick-release shot.
In his NHL debut at age 18, Gaborik scored the first goal in Wild history on Oct. 6, 2000, against the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, as they were then known. Gaborik had his first two-goal game in the NHL, including the winning goal, in a 6-5 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 18, 2000, the first victory in Wild history. Among NHL rookies in 2000-01, he was fifth in the NHL with 18 goals and tied for fifth with 36 points.