Czech winger Patrik Eliáš, a career member of the New Jersey Devils who was their offensive star and all-time leading scorer, today announced his formal retirement after 20 seasons, spending the entire 2016-17 season attempting to come back from injury.
Eliáš, a second round pick of the Devils in 1994, joined the NHL squad for good in 1998, and his immense skill and lethal shot quickly made an impact, helping helm the Devils’ 2000 Stanley Cup victory. Eliáš was a key part of the Devils’ next run in 2001, and won a second Cup in 2003, and his 2001 season saw him named to the NHL First All Star Team, finishing with 40 goals and 96 points. He played in four All-Star Games, served as both team and alternate captain, and as the longest-tenured forward in Devils history (1,240), the team has confirmed his #26 will be raised to the rafters of Prudential Center in Newark next season.
Due to his many deep playoff runs with the Devils, Eliáš had more limited exposure than most to the Narodnitym, only playing in four World Championships (1998, 2008, 2009, 2011), three Olympics (2002, 2006, 2010) and the 2004 World Cup. Eliáš collected bronze medals at the 1998 and 2011 Worlds and the 2006 Olympics, and was named team captain at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, finishing his international career with 35 points in 43 total games.
Despite his illustrious career and many national team appearances, Eliáš only held the IHLC once in his career, in the opening game of the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. We wish Patrik and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!