Wayne Douglas Gretzky CC is a Canadian senior professional ice hockey skater and ex-head coach. He was born on January 26, 1961. From 1979 through 1999, he participated in 20 NHL matches for four different squads. He achieved a lot of success in the history of the NHL and made his name.
The Great One is the nickname given to Wayne Gretzky. He is the all-time best skater in hockey history. The first score, match, point, deal, and trophy belong to every great hockey star. He is the most prominent player who won a lot of assists and goals as compared to all other hockey players.
It will be a pleasure for me to look back at a lot of Wayne’s achievements in this article on Wayne Gretzky’s first NHL game. Let’s go into more detail!
Wayne Gretzky’s First Contract
The NHL had a law that claimed skaters under the age of twenty could not be contracted in 1978. At that time, Gretzky was just 17 years old. Gretzky was sad as it had no benefit for him to continue playing in the youth league. It is because he was already a dominant player there.
Nelson Skalbania used this as a chance to sign Gretzky to play for the Indiana Runners in the WHA (World Hockey Association). Gretzky accepted a $1.75 million and 7-year professional services deal with Skalbania.
In 1978, Skalbania had given Gretzky and his agreement to Peter Pocklington of the Edmonton Oilers. He was at the time a member of the WHA. Later Pocklington had an agreement with Gretzky to a ten-year professional contract agreement for $3 million Canadian.
The Edmonton Oilers joined the NHL after the WHA dissolved at the beginning of the 1979–80 campaign. But they didn’t sign a normal NHL deal until Pocklington’s money problems began in 1987.
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Wayne Gretzky’s First NHL Game and Point
Gretzky played in his first professional match in 1978 for the Indiana Runners of the WHA. But it wasn’t accepted until the Edmonton Oilers at the start of the 1979–1990 campaign that he earned his NHL career.
He did start his NHL tenure wearing the count of 99. The Edmonton Oilers was formerly a WHA club. But when the WHA disbanded, they joined the NHL as a member of the clubs.
On October 10, 1979, in Chicago, he played his first NHL match against the Chicago Blackhawks. Even though the Hawks defeated the Oilers 4-2, Gretzky contributed an assist on a Kevin Lowe overtime goal.
Gretzky’s First Game Stat Line:
Wayne Gretzky’s First NHL Goal
On October 14, 1979, Gretzky recorded his first NHL point in his third NHL match. Gretzky and his Edmonton Oilers were leading the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in the 3rd period of a single match.
To equalize the match at 4-4, Wayne scored on a penalty kill with help from Brett Charles Callighen and Blair MacDonald. It was a tight match.
Wayne Gretzky’s First Hat Trick
On February 1, 1980, Gretzky scored his first hat trick against the Winnipeg Jets. On that evening, the Oilers defeated the Jets 9-2. He played in 50 matches with three or more goals during his tenure.
So, this would not be even close to his final winning goal. 37 three-goal matches, 9 four-goal gameplay, and 4 five-goal matches made up the split. Also, he had 10 matches with three goals or more in 1981–1982 and 1983–1984.
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Wayne Gretzky’s First NHL Record
Gretzky set the first NHL history for the most goals that a player can have in a match in his young career. Edmonton defeated Washington 8 to 2 on February 15, 1980, and Gretzky contributed 7 assists. Gretzky’s first NHL campaign had an amazing playoff record.
First Season Stats:
Wayne Gretzky’s First Playoff Game
In Gretzky’s and the Edmonton Oilers’ opening season in the NHL, they reached the postseason, but they failed. Aside from losing two of the three matches in OT, they were eliminated in a best-of-5 series against the Philadelphia Brochures. In the finals, Gretzky scored 2 points and provided 1 assist.
Wayne Gretzky’s first Stanley Cup
Gretzky and his Oilers did not take much time to win their first Stanley Cup. The Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup by defeating the New York Islanders in 1983–84. It was their fifth NHL campaign.
The Oilers faced the Islanders in the Stanley Cup final a year before, but they lost in a 4-game series. The Oilers won a close 1-0 victory over the Islanders in their initial match after applying what they had learned from their defeat the year before.
When they returned to Edmonton, they won three consecutive matches after dropping the second match. Mark Messier was a close buddy of Gretzky’s and he received the MVP award instead of him.
Related Post: How Many Stanley Cups Did Gretzky Win?
Wayne Gretzky’s first game with the Los Angeles Kings
After earning his fourth Stanley Cup with Edmonton in the springtime of 1988, Gretzky started hearing murmurs about being sold. Wayne initially had little interest in this. But on August 9, 1988, the unexpected came, and he was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings.
On October 6, 1988, Gretzky took the field for the Los Angeles Kings in his initial match during the regular season. His career got off to a great beginning as his Kings defeated the Detroit Red Wings 8–2. With 1 score and 3 assists, Wayne had a successful match.
It is not outstanding for a premiere on the opening show! He continued to play there through the 1996 campaign, where his number 99 eventually became retired.
Wayne Gretzky’s first game back in Edmonton after the trade
Supporters in Edmonton did not need to wait longer for Wayne Gretzky to return after being sold to the Kings. Gretzky returned to Edmonton on October 19, 1988, ten weeks after the deal. But he was defeated 8–6 in a game with plenty of goals.
For his side, Gretzky ended up with 2 assists, but the night will be most recognized for the way the crowd responded to Gretzky. Wayne wasn’t sure if there would be groans, boos, or just quietness.
In the end, all the supporters wanted an opportunity to wish their beloved adopted son farewell. He received a storm of cheers as soon as the warmup skating began.
Gretzky got a big round of applause during the national anthem that lasted for 4 minutes. His return was greeted with warm arms.
Conclusion: Wayne Gretzky’s Firsts
Wayne Gretzky’s first NHL game, first point, first score, and first assist was the reason for his popularity. He achieved a lot of success in his NHL professional career and won the NHL Stanley cup after winning a match. He also got a lot of love from his fans.