On the fourteenth of February 1976, Milan Hejduk was born to Blanka and Milan Hejduk. Milan grew up in Ust-Nad Labem, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Milan's father was a Junior Hockey team coach in the Czech Republic. His mother was a pro tennis player.
In the fourth round of the 1994 NHL entry draft, the Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche) used their sixth pick (87th overall) to choose Milan Hejduk.
After being picked, Milan spent five seasons with Pardubice (Czech Republic). In his first season ('93-'94) Milan totaled 6 goals and 3 assists for 9 points in 22 total games in the regular season. During the playoffs, Milan took part in 10 games, scoring 5 goals and adding 1 assist for 6 points. In his second season ('94-'95), Milan got better, tallying career highs in goal; 11, and assists, 13 for 24 points in 43 games during the regular season. IN the post season, Milan saw action in six games, tallying 3 goals and an assist for 4 points. Now in his third season with Pardubice ('95-'96), Milan tallied a new career high with 13 goals plus 7 assists in 37 games during the regular season for 20 points. Sadly though, Niether Milan or Pardubice got to play any in the post season. His fourth season ('96-'97) Milan had his second best season for Pardubice establishing career highs with 27 goals and 51 games. Added to those 27 goals, Milan gathered 11 assists for 38 points during the regular season. During the post season, Milan played in 10 games, netting 6 goals for a total of six points. In the 1998 Winter Olympics, Milan played in four games for the Czech Republic national team. Although he didn't score a point in those 4 games, the team captured the gold medal with a 2-1 shotout win over Russia in the final round. Milan also saw action in one game with the Czech Republic team during the World Championships. Also in '97-'98, Milan had his best season with Pardubice establishing career highs with 19 assists, and 45 points. During that season, he also scored a second best 26 goals. Milan didn't have the greatest post season, appearing in three games and going pointless in those.
During the 98-99 NHL preseason, Milan posted 5 goals and 2 assist for a total of 7 points. Those totals were good enough to earn him a place on the opening night roster, and he stayed there the next 82 games. In his first NHL regular season game, (Friday, October 16th, 1998) Milan scored 3 points in the Avs 3-3 tie with the Ottawa Senators. His first NHL point came on an assist on a Joe Sakic goal, with 13:32 left in the first period. His second point was another Joe Sakic assist, only this time on the power-play. Then, three minutes into the third period, Milan took a cross-ice pass from Keith Jones, and fired a one-timer over the left shoulder of the Sens Damian Rhodes. In 82 regular season games, Milan posted 14 goals and 34 assists for 48 points. His 14 goals were good enough for fifth best overall for rookies (seventh best on the Avs, tied for about 30th in the NHL), his 34 assists were best among rookies (fourth best on the Avs, tied for 21st in the NHL), and his 48 points were also best among rookies (sixth best on the Avs, tied for 38th in the NHL). His 82 games tied for best among rookies (also tied for best on the Avs, and the NHL).
Through 16 playoff games, Milan scored 12 points (6 goals and 6 assists). That total was good enough to earn Milan a tie for fifth place on the Avs (first overall for rookies, tied for 10th in the NHL) for play off points. His 6 assists placed him sixth overall on the team (tied for first overall for rookies, tied for 10th in the NHL), and his 6 goals were good enough for third best on the team (tied for first overall for rookies, tied for 6th in the NHL). His 16 games were good enough for sixteenth overall on the team (fourth best among rookies, tied for 10th in the NHL). He missed the Avs final three playoff games because of a broken collarbone he suffered in the first period of game three of the Western Conference Finals versus the Dallas Stars on March 28, 1998.
Even though he led all rookies in regular season and post season points and assists, he didn't capture the Calder Trophy as the leagues best rookie. Instead, fellow teammate Ghris Drury got the award, finishing ahead of Milan and Marian Hossa of the Ottawa Senators.
Hejduk played his second full NHL season as a member of the Colorado Avalanche in '99-'00. He filled the offenseive gap left by Peter Forsberg (who was sidelined with a shoulder injury) in the begining of the season, and went onto net 36 goals (a new career high, surpassing his previous high of 14 by 22). Those 36 goals were good enough for eight in the league and first on the Avalanche. Hejduk also set a new career high with 36 assists, surpassing his old career high by 12. His 36 assists were good enough for a tie for twentieth in the league and fourth on the team. Those totals combined for 72 points (also a new career high, surpassing his old by 24). Those 72 points were good enough for a tie for thirteenth in the league (tie for seventh among right wings) and second on the Avs. Those totals also ranked him: first among second year in points and goals, and third among second year players in assists behind teammate Chris Drury and Tampa's Vincent Lecavalier.
During the playoffs, Milan played in 17 games compiling 5 goals and 4 assists for 9 points in that time. His 5 goals were good enough for 7th in the league and second on the Avs. His 4 assists ranked him tied for tenth in the league and seventh on the team. His 9 points earned him a tie for thirteenth in the league and a tie for fourth in team playoff scoring.