Ryan Getzlaf reached the pinnacle of hockey success early in his career and continued with a consistent level of excellence through a lengthy National Hockey League career.
Getzlaf retired having a Stanley Cup and two Olympic gold medals while becoming an Anaheim Ducks icon as he rewrote the franchise’s record book.
Growing up in Regina as part of an athletic family, Getzlaf was a strong multi-sport athlete who represented Saskatchewan in baseball at a national tournament. He decided to pursue hockey and enjoyed a four-year career in the Western Hockey League with the Calgary Hitmen. His strong play there earned him his first taste of international hockey.
He won a gold medal with Canada at the 2003 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Under-18 World Championship. The next year he played at the IIHF Under-20 World Championship where Canada finished second. Getzlaf was drafted 19th overall in the 2003 National Hockey League (NHL) draft by Anaheim.
In 2005, the NHL lockout led to Canada icing one of its greatest world junior teams of all time and Getzlaf was at the heart of its success. He finished second in tournament scoring with three goals and 12 points in six games – more points than Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin or Evgeni Malkin – as Canada went unbeaten.
Getzlaf spent his entire 17-season NHL career with Anaheim. Only 16 other players have had longer careers while only playing for one NHL franchise and all of them started their career before Getzlaf. He is the Ducks’ all-time leader in games played (1,157), assists (737) and points (1,017). He also scored 282 career regular-season goals and is the franchise’s all-time playoff leader in goals (37), assists (83) and points (120).
Getzlaf played a key role in the Ducks winning their first Stanley Cup in 2007. He had seven goals and 17 points in 21 playoff games to cap his second NHL season. In 2010, Getzlaf was named the Ducks’ captain, which he remained until his retirement in 2022, making him the longest-serving captain in team history. He also played in three NHL All-Star Games in 2008, 2009 & 2015.
His greatest achievements with Canada came at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Games where Canada won consecutive gold medals. In Vancouver, he scored three goals and added four assists in seven games. He opened the scoring and finished with three points in Canada’s quarter-final win over Russia and scored the winning goal in the semifinal against Slovakia. In Sochi, he finished with a goal and two assists in six games.
In 2016, Getzlaf won the World Cup of Hockey as part of Team Canada. He also represented Canada at the IIHF World Championship twice. In 2008, he finished second in tournament scoring with three goals and 14 points in nine games as Canada claimed the silver medal in Quebec City. In 2012 he scored twice and had nine points in eight games.
Installed in the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on September 23, 2023.