Slovakian defender Andrej Sekera today officially announced his retirement from the Dallas Stars, ending a sixteen year NHL career that saw him journey across five NHL clubs, along with a World Championship and World Cup Silver medal.
A third round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2004, Sekera would become an NHL regular in 2008, spending five full seasons with the Sabres, only making the playoffs twice with the struggling Sabres. Traded to Carolina at the 2013 NHL Draft, Sekera saw his best pro season with the Hurricanes in 2013-14, notching 44 points in 74 games, but injuries would hamper his second season, which was split between Carolina and Los Angeles. Sekera signed with Edmonton as a free agent in 2015, where he would return to the playoffs in 2017, spending four seasons with the Oilers, being named Slovakian Player Of The Year in 2016. Sekera would sign as a free agent in Dallas in 2019, spending his final three pro seasons with the Stars, including their miraculous run to the 2020 Stanley Cup Finals in the Edmonton COVID-19 bubble, coming within two games of the Stanley Cup. However, injuries would hold Sekera to just 32 games in his final season, forcing him into retirement after 842 career games in 16 seasons, notching 51 goals and 253 points over that span.
A native of Bojnice, Slovakia, Sekera debuted for the national team at the 2004 Under-18 Championship, debuting with the World Junior team at the 2005 and 2006 tournaments. Sekera debuted for the senior national team at the 2008 World Championship, his first of eight appearances (2008-10, 2012-13, 2016, 2018-19), where he would feature in Slovakia’s tournament Top Three each time, winning his lone medal with a Silver in 2012. Sekera would compete at two Olympics (2010, 2014) and as part of the “Team Europe” cohort at the 2016 World Cup Of Hockey, where he would win another unlikely second place finish. Sekera was named to the Bronze medal winning roster at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, but was unable to participate after the NHL withdrew due to COVID-19.
Over the course of his career, Sekera captured the IHLC four times, the first coming at the 2005 World Junior Championships, the final coming 13 years later on the Euro Hockey Tour. We wish Andrej and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!
Photo Credit: The Athletic – IIHF – HHOF – IOC