Duchene started playing junior in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2007–08, and recorded 30 goals and 50 points in his rookie campaign. The following season, he improved to 79 points in 57 games, then added 26 points in the post-season, helping the Battalion to the J. Ross Robertson Cup Finals, where they were defeated by eventual Memorial Cup champions, the Windsor Spitfires.
Going into the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Duchene was ranked second overall among North American skaters by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau, behind just John Tavares. Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman was also considered a strong candidate with Tavares for the first overall selection. However, Duchene’s well-rounded, two-way game garnered him attention for the top pick, as well. After Tavares and Hedman were picked first and second, Duchene was selected third overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Growing up as an Avalanche fan, Duchene quickly became a fan favorite after video footage showed him pumping his fist after Hedman was selected second overall to the Tampa Bay Lightning, sealing his fate as an Avalanche draftee. Having played alongside Vancouver Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson, who had been selected tenth overall the previous year, in Brampton, Duchene sought draft advice from him over the course of the season. Duchene has drawn comparisons to such retired NHLers as Steve Yzerman and Joe Sakic, as well as current star Mike Richards.
On April 6, 2010, the Avalanche had the opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a victory against the Vancouver Canucks. Tied 3–3 after overtime, Duchene scored the game winning shootout goal against Roberto Luongo to send the Avalanche into the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Duchene finished his rookie NHL season third on the Avalanche in scoring with 55 points, and second in goals with 24. Among NHL rookies, he finished first in points, ahead of John Tavares by one, and tied with Tavares for first in goals.
Q & A
When did you turn pro?
What are the events, wins, memories that stand out most throughout your career so far?
Being Drafted in June 2009 to the Avalanche, scoring my first NHL goal on Oct 17th against the Detroit Redwings and playing in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs
If there’s one thing that people in the industry would recognize you by, what would that be?
Probably my speed, especially in the corners
When did you first start smashing people on the ice? Where/why?
When I was 4 in my hometown of Haliburton. I started playing because my dad's side and mom's side are both hockey families
Did you start as an ice skater? Or did you go straight to hockey?
I started skating without a puck and stick first because I was so distracted by trying to shoot and stickhandle that I would just let my mom hold me up and not even try and learn how to skate. Once the stick was taken from me I could focus more
What has driven you to work super hard and rise up beyond mediocrity?
I've always wanted to play hockey as a career and that always drove me to make it to the NHL
Are you a rebel? Why or why not?
No, not at all. I think I like making people happy too much to break their rules haha
f you weren’t killing it in hockey, what would you be doing for a living?
If I had to pick a regular everyday job it would probably be graphic design. But If I could be whatever I wanted, I'd probably be playing music. Either Country or Rock, I can't decide
Talent…other than smacking a puck and punching teeth out:
Your Favorite…(Start with your favorite music artist or something):
Favourite music artists are Brad Paisley and Green Day. Favourite thing to do in the summer is fishing. My favourite place I've ever been outside of my hometown is where I play hockey, Denver Colorado.
Unique and well made
Best song to play to:
21st Century Breakdown by Green Day
C-Walking, Head Banging or fist pumping? Which one?:
Haha none of the above
Dream vacation spot:
Redstone lake in my hometown
Would you rather get punched in the gut by Mr. T. or super roundhouse kicked in the face by Chuck Norris?
Kicked in the face by Chuck Norris because then I could be in a 'Chuck Norris joke'
People would be super surprised if they knew that you…
What new skills are you working on or improving on?
Hockey wise, just trying to improve everything. You can never be too good at something. Outside of hockey, I'm always trying to get better at Guitar
ou’ve been mistaken for…
Just a hockey player
Any type of fish (especially Trout and Salmon) and Cheesecake
Megan Fox or Diane Kruger?