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Top 25 Ducks of All-Time #8: Steve Rucchin

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The series rolls on with one of the longest-serving captains in franchise history, and one that almost brought the Ducks to glory.

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Average Rank: 9.56

Steve Rucchin's time in Anaheim will be remembered for a handful of great moments.

His career began via a less-traveled road in terms of making the NHL. Ruccin played his college hockey in Canada at the University of Western Ontario; while Canada may be the undisputed home of hockey, the collegiate system is not known for producing NHL-quality talent (unlike the junior leagues).

So thus, when Rucchin was selected second-overall by the Mighty Ducks in the NHL's 1994 Supplementary Draft, that alone was quite the major feat.

Rucchin would begin his career splitting his rookie season between the big club and the IHL's San Diego Gulls. A solid year meant he would make the team full-time the following season.

When Teemu Selanne joined the Ducks, Rucchin was placed as the top-line center between he and Paul Karyia. And much like Ryan Getzlaf will make you rich if you go to the net, Rucchin got pretty wealthy off these two Ducks legends, scoring over 50 points per season when he was healthy for most of the year.

But true immortality came in the 2003 playoffs. The Mighty Ducks had taken a shock 3-0 series lead against the defending Cup Champs in the Detroit Red Wings, and game four headed into extra time. That's when a great hustle play from Rucchin set up history.

The Mighty Ducks would push all the way to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history that year. Rucchin would prove to be an offensive leader the whole way, scoring ten points in the post-season, seven of them goals.

Rucchin served as captain starting in 2003, and remained a Mighty Duck all the way until 2005 when he was traded to the New York Rangers to free up space under the league's brand new salary cap. After one season on Broadway, he signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Thrashers, where a concussion injury ended his career after 12 seasons.

However, the long-time fan favorite earned his way to the top ten of our list, not only for his legendary Wing-sweeping goal, but for his stellar offensive play between Teemu Selanne and Paul Karyia. To this day you can still find Rucchin jerseys strolling around Honda Center on occasion from those fans who look back and fondly remember the gritty firepower of the former Ducks captain.