Paul Kariya: Mighty Ducks, Jersey, NHL, Retire, Wife & Net Worth

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Paul Tetsuya Kariya is the most gentlemanly player in the National Hockey League(NHL).

But don’t get comfortable, as he is the most intense and gifted playmaker with two Lady Byng trophies under his name. Paul has also made his name as the prodigy scorer in NHL history.

Despite his rocky career and a contract dispute with the Mighty Ducks, Kariya continued thriving in his career.

During his spectacular playing days, Kariya played for powerhouses like Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and St. Louis Blues.

Paul Kariya age
Paul Kariya, 46, Former NHL Player

Aside from that, the gentle Kariya also represented the national team on numerous teams, including when they won gold at the 1993 World Junior Championships.

But what made this magnetic player on the ice retire early? What happened during his tenure that led him to that conclusion? All of these and more will be answered regarding the player.

Paul Kariya: Quick Facts

Full Name Paul Tetsuhilo Kariya
Birth Date October 16, 1674
Birth Place North Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada
Alias Paul Kariya
Religion Unknown
Nationality Canadian
Ethnicity Mixed
Education University of Maine
Horoscope Libra
Father’s Name Tetsuhiko (T.K.) Kariya
Mother’s Name Sharon Kariya
Siblings Two brothers and a sister
Age 49 Years Old
Height 5 feet 10 inches(178 cm)
Weight 82 kgs(180 lbs)
Build Athletic
Eye color Dark Brown
Hair Color Dark Brown
Profession NHL Professional Player
Active years 1994-2010
Teams Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues
Position Left-Wing
Marital Status In a relationship
Spouse/Partner Valerie
Merchandise Autographed Photo
Net Worth $55 million
Last Update June, 2024

How tall is Paul Kariya?- Age and Body Measurements

Known as the most gentlemanly hockey player, Paul Kariya was born on October 16, 1974. This stellar player is 349 Years Old.

Also, his star sign happens to be Libra. And from what we know, they are known for their magnetic personality, competitiveness, and magnetic appeal.

As a hockey player, it is essential to be physically fit to be smooth on ice. Kariya stands at 5 feet 10 inches(178 cm) and weighs around 180 lbs(82 kgs).

His childhood training has made him not only challenging but intelligent enough to play on the ice.

Despite having an athletic build, Paul is light on his feet and sharp-minded. Though his other physical stats are unknown, we can see he is healthy and fit.

Besides that, Paul is often lauded for his charming smile and handsome appearance. He is blessed with a pair of black eyes and equally dark hair.

Early Life, Family, and Education

paul kariya
Paul Kariya

The two times Lady Byng Trophy winner Paul was born as Paul Tetsuya Kariya in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

He is the son of Tetsuhiko (T.K.) Kariya and Sharon Kariya. As you can guess, his father was a Japanese-Canadian born in a World War II internment camp at Greenwood, British Columbia.

Before he died from a heart attack on December 27, 2002, his father, Kariya, used to work as a math teacher.

Similarly, Paul’s mother, a Scottish-Canadian, was also a teacher. Aside from his parents, Kariya has three siblings; two brothers, Steve and Martin, and a sister named Noriko.

As expected from an athletic family, all siblings play hockey, except Noriko, who later turned to the box.

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Even his father played rugby with the Canadian national team. When Paul was 16, he left home to play Junior A hockey in Penticton, British Columbia.

He worked at a clothing store for the team’s coach and general manager to earn money.

After two years, young Kariya enrolled at the University of Maine, where he joined the hockey team. He even made it to the dean’s list.

Amateur Years and Accomplishments

During his time at the Penticton Panthers, Paul thrived as a hockey player, where he recorded 45 goals and 112 points over 54 games in the first season.

Because of his performance, Paul was awarded the Vern Dye and Bruce Allison Memorial Trophies as the MVP and rookie of the year.

As expected, Kariya upped his game the following season and recorded 46 goals and 132 points in just 40 games.

Already a top player among the college teams, Paul received offers from Boston University and even Harvard.

But he enrolled at the University of Maine in the end and even turned down major junior teams from the Western Hockey League(WHL).

Since his first year in Maine, Paul pushed himself, earning recognition and records. He was already recognized as the NCAA’s top player, making him the first freshman in history to do so.

Looking back at all his accomplishments, it was a brainer he would be the top pick of many teams. Likewise, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim picked Kariya fourth in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.

He also made history as the second-highest pick from Vancouver after Barry Beck back in 1977.

In the 1994 Winter Olympics, Kariya joined the Canadian national team and left the Black Bears simultaneously.

Paul recorded seven goals with the national team and 41 points in 23 games by the end of the season. During a ceremony on October 15, 1999, Paul was inducted into the University of Maine’s Sports Hall of Fame.

College Stats

Season Team Lge GP G A Pts PIM
1990-91 Penticton Panthers BCJHL 56 46 66 112 8
1991-92 Penticton Panthers BCJHL 41 45 87 132 16
1992-93 U. of Maine H-East 39 25 75 100 12
1993-94 U. of Maine H-East 12 8 16 24 4

Professional NHL Career

After returning from the 1994 Olympics, Paul negotiated with the Mighty Ducks in hopes of joining the team.

But the negotiation failed, and Kariya agreed to a three-year contract for $6.5 million.

As expected from the star player, his first appearance for the Mighty Ducks drew a lot of attention; around 9000 people watched his first public practice, while 16,000 fans watched his first exhibition game.

Finally, Paul made his NHL debut as the Ducks against the Edmonton Oilers. He scored his first NHL goal on January 21, 1995, against Winnipeg Jets.

Even though the team finished last in the Western Conference, Kariya earned his spot on the NHL All-Rookie Team. Many even compared him to Wayne Gretzky for his vision and Paul Bure for his speed.

In 1997, he scored one of his best goals against the Colorado Avalanche when he scored a goal just eight seconds into the game. 

Paul Kariya NHL
Paul Kariya on ice

As pointed out, Kariya’s trademark was his speed and agility. In a game against the Avalanche, Kariya scored the quickest goal in team history, just eight seconds into the match, which ended with a 2-2 tie.

At just 21, Kariya was assigned the Captain position, making him the youngest captain in the NHL at that time. He served the role till Paul left Anaheim in the 2002-03 season.

“Off the Floor, On the Board!”

Paul has many records and achievements as a fantastic player and smoothes on ice.

But what we will discuss has to be the most iconic moment in franchise history. It happened before the Ducks won their Stanley Championship in 2007.

In 2003, the Ducks found themselves down three games to two against the fan-favorite Devils, advancing to the Final as a No. 7 seed.

Vying for the title, the Ducks lead the first period with 3-0, but the Devils made their comeback in the second.

Not to mention, Paul was overtaken by Scott Stevens’s infamous high hit, which knocked him out for a while.

Despite the risk, Kariya returned to the game in the late second period. Upon returning, the left-winger scored on a blistering slap shot from just above the top of the left circle.

This is where we got the famous “Off the floor, on the board!” call from Gary Thorne.

The moment is simply electrifying and gives goosebumps every time we see it.

This helped the Ducks win the game and became one of the most memorable moments of Kariya’s career.

When did Paul Kariya retire?

Following the illegal hits from Stevens, Paul suffered injuries throughout his professional career.

Aside from hip injury, Kariya also struggled with concussions and other damages. Unfortunately, the offensive player, Paul, was forced to retire early in his career.

Moreover, in his 15 years of career, Paul skated in 989 NHL games, scored 402 goals and 587 assists, and tallied 989 points.

Despite that, Paul kept himself isolated from the hockey community for six years after retirement.

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As stated by the player, Paul’s brain function dropped 60% after his career. During an interview with Farber, Kariya detailed all these events.

“At the end of my career when

Dr. Lovell, who created the IMPACT testing, tested me, and I dropped over 60%. When I was pushed by another doctor, just a general test for my available age group, I was testing in the 25th percentile.”

He further said,

“I was a decent student. I got into Harvard. I’m not a 25% student. There was significant damage.”

It is heartbreaking to see bright students like Kariya dim down like that. But the most tragic fact is that Kariya has not put his gear on since his retirement in 2010.

Where is he now?

Currently, Kariya is spending his time living off the shore in California. He has taken up surfing as his hobby, which he finds relaxing and therapeutic.

Paul Kariya retire, now
Paul Kariya finds peace in surfing.

“Initially, it was a new challenge. Learning a new sport, I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. It was a big-time challenge. For sure.” said Paul.

“I’ve got buddies that go out there. They’re not even interested in catching waves. They just want to be out in the ocean and sit there, be with their thoughts. You’re just there with your board, enjoying yourself. It’s a peaceful sport.” 

Is Paul Kariya married? Who is his wife?- Children

Now, focusing on his personal life, Paul is in a happy relationship with his high school sweetheart, Valerie. The two lovers met at the University of Maine and have been dating ever since.

Despite being together for a long time, they have yet to tie the knot. Also, they have no children.

Besides this, Kariya has not been involved in rumors or controversies. Paul lives up to his “Gentlemanly” title well enough.

Net Worth and Income

Paul Kariya, as some might call ‘The Original Mighty Duck,’ had a blast of the career on ice despite his early retirement.

As of 2021, the Canadian NHL player has an astounding net worth of $55 million. With such a staggering amount, Kariya stands as the 13th richest NHL player of all time.

No doubt, Paul would have earned more if his injuries and concussions did not hinder his progress. Nonetheless, Kariya makes annual earnings of $1 million.

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Likewise, it is also mentioned that Kariya earned a total of $85 million during his professional career. However, the former Ducks’ have yet to reveal their earnings and assets to the public.

Social Media Presence

Sadly, it seems Paul has isolated himself from the hockey community and social media. As of now, the former Ducks have no active social media accounts.


  • “When you have a game like that, you just figure you have to learn from your mistakes. We’ve just got to get better. It was a bad effort all the way around.”
  • “I think part of it is luck. Some years you just get injured; in others, you don’t. I don’t think I’ve done anything differently.”
  • “When a team’s down, you’ve got to keep them down and not give them any life. We didn’t do that, and it’s something that throughout the year we have to improve upon.”

Paul Kariya | FAQs

What is Paul Kariya’s career statistic like? Which jersey number did he wear?

During Paul Kariya’s playing career from 1994–2010, he played 989 games and scored 402 goals. Right then, he maintains 989 points and 587 assists.

Paul wore jersey number 9 for the Mighty Ducks, which they later retired on October 21, 2018.

When did Paul Kariya have his jersey retirement?

The athlete had his no.9 jersey retirement in October 2018.

What happened between Paul Kariya and Gary Suter?

As Kariya celebrated his goal in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Gary Suter cross-checked him in the head, giving him a concussion. 

Does Paul Kariya have any documentaries?

Paul Kariya has documentaries like Sel8nne (2013), Salt Lake City 2002: XIX Olympic Winter Games (2002), and Gretzky: The Great One and the Next Ones (1997).

Kriti is a senior content writer and editor for biography, news, and gossips. She has previously worked for TVShowStars under the alias "Kira." Besides being an avid reader and anime fan, she loves perusing through YouTube/Spotify and discovering Indie bands.

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