ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Orono, Maine -- On Monday, June 26, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that former University of Maine Black Bear Paul Kariya will be enshrined as a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Kariya spent the 1992-93 season and 12 games of the 1993-94 season at the University of Maine. During his first season with the Black Bears, Kariya put together arguably the best season in college hockey history, tallying 25 goals and 75 assists for 100 points in 39 games on his way to being named the first-ever freshman to win the Hobey Baker Award, presented to the top College Hockey player. After leading the Black Bears to the 1993 NCAA title, with an incredible 42-1-2 mark, Kariya was selected fourth overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Kariya returned to UMaine for his sophomore season, recording eight goals and 16 assists in his first 12 games, but decided to leave school and compete with the Canadian National Team before joining the Mighty Ducks for the 1994-95 season.
He spent 15 years in the National Hockey League where he notched 402 goals and 587 assists in 989 games. Kariya played his first nine years for the Mighty Ducks before a year stint with the Colorado Avalanche and two years with the Nashville Predators before ending his career with three seasons in St. Louis with the Blues. He led the Mighty Ducks to the Stanley Cup finals in 2002-03 where the series went seven games but Anaheim fell to the New Jersey Devils.
A five-time NHL All-Star, Kariya was the runner-up for the Hart Trophy (Most Valuable Player) in 1997 and was a two-time Lady Byng (sportsmanship) Award winner. He was selected as captain of the Mighty Ducks at age 21 and finished his career with 16 goals and 23 assists in 46 playoff games. Individually, he led his team in scoring in seven of his 15 seasons. Kariya helped lead his native Canada to gold at the 2002 Olympic Games and a silver medal in 1994, while also securing gold medals at the 1993 World Championships and the 1993 World Junior Championships.
The University of Maine contributed to this article.