Anthony Duclair needs no prompting beyond date and location: Oct. 14, 2015, in Anaheim. “I remember it well,” he says, smiling.
That’s the night the 20-year-old winger registered his first career NHL hat trick.
It was his third game of the season, and he was the first in this year’s rookie class to hit the milestone. Duclair did have more than three NHL games’ experience under his belt at that point, though: He played 18 games with the New York Rangers in 2014 and scored his first NHL goal in his seventh appearance. But he did not expect career goals two, three and four to come so quickly and on the same night.
“In September, I was just on the verge of cracking this lineup,” Duclair says, eyes wide. “That was my goal: just to make this team.”
GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 28: Anthony Duclair #10 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck ahead of Cody Ceci #5 of the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Gila River Arena on November 28, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Pointe-Claire, Que., product, a third-round pick in 2013, says all three hat-trick pucks are in the hands of team staff, and he’ll be presented with them, framed, at the end of the season. He figures they’ll end up on the wall at his parents’ place.
Though he says he watched the highlight just once, Duclair remembers all the details.
“The first goal was right off the faceoff. I was right behind Marty Hanzal. He won it back and I put the puck on net quickly, and luckily it went in. The second goal, it was Max [Domi] who got in the zone with a lot of speed. Sure enough, he gave me the puck and I squeezed it in, short side, on [Frederik] Andersen. And then the third goal, I got the puck from [Tobias] Rieder in the slot. I just wanted to shoot it on net and it went top corner. I think I got lucky. It was pretty cool to see that third one go in. I was really happy—total joy, a lot of emotions. A dream come true.
“Scoring a hat trick is something. Scoring a hat trick in the NHL is something else.”