The "Finnish Flash" was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, 10th overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. And interestingly enough, his first goal came against Jeff Hackett of the San Jose Sharks. He went on to score an all-time rookie record of 76 goals in his rookie season, making him one of only eight players to have scored 70 or more goals in one NHL season.
He was traded to the then Anaheim Mighty Ducks for then promising youngster Chad Kilger, Oleg Tverdovsky and a third-round pick.
In Anaheim, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne formed one of the most potent scoring duos in the NHL. In 1998 Selanne became the first European player to be named NHL All-Star Game MVP, after scoring a hat trick. Selanne also took the the NHL goalscoring titles in both 1998 and 1999.
In 2000–01, the Sharks had a rookie by the name of Evgeni Nabokov who won the Calder Trophy as the league's best rookie. The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim traded Teemu Selanne to the Sharks for fan favorite Jeff Friesen, a solid Steve Shields and a second round selection. What marked a very sad day for many Shark fans had them elated and happy to have a sniper of Selanne's talents.
Selanne would not duplicate his heroics as a Shark, and although he posted decent numbers (54 and 64 points in his first two full seasons) during his stint, he was more remembered for the near trade he nixed. That trade that would have sent Scott Gomez to the Sharks in a multi player deal, but was turned down at the last minute by Selanne.
After two seasons as a Shark, Selanne rejoined his ex-teammate Paul Kariya in Colorado. His play and numbers continued to decline as the once promising pair failed to recapture their previous magic. He would go on to miss the NHL lockout season with a knee injury and played overseas in limited action.
Selanne rejoined Anaheim in 2005 and led the Ducks in scoring despite being one of the only real scoring threats on the team.
Selänne was back amongst the NHL's elite players after the 2005–06 NHL season, when he recorded his 1,000th NHL point after overcoming knee surgery. He was then awarded the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, designating Selänne as the comeback player of the year.
A 10 time All-Star, Selanne has scored 500 goals in the NHL and among team leaders in major statistical categories for the Ducks.