Date of Birth:  July 1, 1977
 Place of Birth: St. Albert, AB
 Residence: N/A
 Years on National Team:
 N/A
 Height:  6'1"
 Weight: 208 lbs

Jarome Iginla isn't exactly a late bloomer, but it did take him a little while to become the dominating forward he is today. After leading the Kamloops Blazers to consecutive Memorial Cups, Iginla was drafted 11th-overall by the Dallas Stars in 1995. Making the draft even more special for Iginla was the fact it took place in front of family and friends in his hometown of Edmonton.

Despite his prolific junior statistics, the Stars felt the burly forward would benefit from one more year in Kamloops. Instead of complaining, Iginla went down and dominated the Western Hockey League once again, compiling 136 regular season points and 29 playoff points before being bounced from the Memorial Cup playoffs. It was during that memorable season that the Stars decided to trade for the present and dealt Iginla's huge upside potential to the Calgary Flames for Joe Nieuwendyk, a star player in his prime at the time.

In 1996, Iginla was selected to play for Team Canada at the Canadian Junior World Championships. He led all scorers with 12 points in six games as the young Canucks brought home gold. He was named the tournament's top forward.

With little depth prior to the 1996-97 season the Flames had no choice but to call on Iginla to play with the big club. He played all 82 games as a rookie, accumulating 50 points (21-29-50), and was selected to the NHL's all-rookie team. Over the next few years, Iginla would make modest improvements, but it wasn't until the 2000-01 season that he would emerge into the awesome force he is today.

That year, he collected 52 goals and 44 assists, winning both the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer and the Maurice "Rocket" Richard award as the NHL's top sniper. That huge showing earned him a spot on Team Canada at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002, where he was one of the team's best players. He had four points in the six-game tournament, including two goals in the gold-medal winning game over the USA.

Since his first Olympics, Iginla has become one of the league's top players and in 2003-04 led his Flames all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost a heartbreaking seven-game series to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

As the Turin Games approach, Iginla is once again leading the Flames and will surely be counted on to provide some scoring punch as Canada goes looking for another gold medal in the hockey competition.


Related Headlines:
February 10: Iginla, mates offer their support
February 10: Hoping to boost game at Games
January 24: Iggy popped, Oilers rocked

2006 Hockey Coverage