It was 1988 in Banff, Alberta, and Glen Sather set his eyes on a 12-year-old hockey player named Ryan Smyth.
"You could see this kid was going to be a very good player right then and there," Sather told ESPN.com this week.
Sather, the GM in Edmonton at the time, drafted Smyth in the first round of the 1994 NHL entry draft, sixth overall. It's a pick he's proud of.
"Ryan is full of heart and determination," the current New York Rangers GM said. "He's had a great career. And he's a great guy."
And he's playing his 1,000 NHL regular-season game Saturday night. The rink rat from Banff has come a long way.
"I believe I try and go out and earn everything I've got. Sometimes you have to pay a price and get your nose dirty to get rewarded... Your body gets sore at times, but there's a will within me to not be denied.” -- Ryan Smyth