— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) February 21, 2021
Travis Zajac Reaches 1000th Game Mark
Entering the season, everyone knew this was going to be a possibility. Zajac probably would have hit the 1000th game mark already if he did not lose games to injury, a lockout and a pandemic last season. Zajac was originally scheduled to hit the 1000 game mark some time towards the end of last season. But that did not happen. And because he tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the season, he missed his chance to hit the 1000 games played mark against the Buffalo Sabres in January.
The Devils selected Zajac in the first round 20th overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. Zajac signed with the Devils on April 13, 2006, and made his NHL debut against the Carolina Hurricanes on October 6th, 2006. The head coach of the Hurricanes when Zajac made his debut was Peter Laviolette, who is coaching the Capitals when Zajac steps on the ice for his 1000th game. Even though Zajac did not score in his first NHL game, he did so the following game against the Dallas Stars. During his time with the Devils, Zajac has recorded 534 points (197 goals and 337 assists). In 57 games in the playoffs for the Devils, he recorded 28 points (11 goals and 17 assists).
Some of his best moments came as a member of the ZZPops line with Jamie Langenbrunner and Zach Parise. Zajac set career highs in goals (25), assists (42) and points (67) during the 2009-2010 season. He is the last remaining member of the 2012 team that went to the Stanley Cup Final.
A Devil For Life
It is hard to imagine Travis Zajac going anyplace else. He is in the final year of his eight-year contract with the Devils that he signed back in 2013. He is one of the veterans on the team and is showing young players like Nico Hischier, Jack Hughes, and Pavel Zacha the art of the faceoff. The Devils were lucky enough to draft a player like this. Zajac joins Ken Danekyo, Martin Brodeur, and Patrik Elias as the only players to play 1000 games for the franchise. Other players reached the mark while wearing the uniform, but these three guys did with one team. Zajac is also the second member behind Alex Ovechkin to reach the 1000 games played mark from the 2004 NHL Draft Class. Talk about longevity.
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