FanHouse's Adam Gretz takes a look at his top 50 players in the NHL. No. 5 is Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla.
After selecting Jarome Iginla with the 11th overall pick in the 1995 Entry Draft, the Dallas Stars sent him to Calgary in December, 1995, in a deal that brought holdout Joe Nieuwendyk to Texas. In the long run, it's safe to say that it worked out quite well for both teams as Nieuwendyk helped Dallas win its first Stanley Cup (he also won the Conn Smythe Trophy), while Calgary ended up with its future captain and the top power forward in the NHL.
Since becoming a regular in the Calgary lineup 13 years ago, Iginla has become a dominant force and prolific goal-scorer. He hasn't scored fewer than 30 goals in a single season since 1999-2000, and is one of just seven active players to have multiple 50-goal campaigns.
It's impossible to measure "intangibles," but the 31-year-old Iginla is regarded as one of the best captains and leaders in the league, and helped carry the Flames to the 2003-04 Stanley Cup Final, which they lost to Tampa Bay in seven games. He finished the playoffs with 22 points (13 goals, eight assists) in 26 games.
Iginla has twice led the league in goals scored, and also won the Art Ross Trophy during the 2001-02 season with 96 points. It stands out (to me, anyway) because he was the first player not named Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr or Wayne Gretzky to win the award in over 20 years. He also won the Lester B. Pearson award that year as the best player in the league voted on by the players, and later took home the King Clancy Award during the 2003-04 season. Aside from his accomplishments in the NHL, he was also a part of Team Canada's Gold Medal team in 2002, scoring three goals in the six-game tournament.
And now, for your obligatory YouTube video: all 50 goals during the 2007-08 season...