Penner praised by boyhood idol

PAUL FRIESEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 12:34 PM ET

So Dustin Penner's a big fan of Teemu Selanne? The native of Winkler should hear what Selanne has to say about him.

During a conference call yesterday, Selanne heaped praise on his 24-year-old, Anaheim Ducks teammate, who has 25 goals as a rookie.

"It's a great story about his career, how he's climbed up (to) this level," Selanne said. "He has all the tools to be a great player in this league. He's a great example of where you can go when you believe in yourself, you have fun, you work hard."

As a Winnipeg Jet, Selanne was actually one of Penner's boyhood idols. Today the two are dressing room neighbours.

"We always talk about Winnipeg," Selanne said. "I really started feeling pretty old in this dressing room, when guys were eight, nine years old, and watching me ..."

Penner jokes that he'd break Selanne's rookie record of 76 goals -- if he played a 150-game season.

"I don't think so," Selanne said, laughing. "I don't think that's enough games."


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