The New Jersey Devils are signing long-time centre Travis Zajac to a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Devils organization.
Travis Zajac calls it a career.
But he’s just getting started in Jersey.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) September 20, 2021
Travis Zajac Retires With The Devils
After being traded by the New Jersey Devils to the New York Islanders this past trade deadline, Travis Zajac is coming back to the Devils at least for one day. The team announcement the long-time centre will retire as a member of the New Jersey Devils. The trade was difficult for Zajac and the team to do. He had a no-trade clause, so he had to agree to waive it to be traded. There was a chance Zajac could be traded last season. However, Zajac did not want to waive his no-trade clause to go to any team. It had to be the right situation. And this year it was the right situation. Especially with the Islanders. The Devils originally selected Zajac in the first round, 20th overall in the 2004 NHL Draft. He had success early on playing alongside Zach Parise and Jamie Langenbrunner as part of the ZZPops line.
There was a belief that Zajac would retire as a member of the Devils. And so he has. Prior to being traded, Zajac reached the 1000 game plateau with the Devils earlier in the season. He is the fourth player in Devils franchise history joining Ken Danekyo, Martin Brodeur, and Patrik Elias as members of the Devils to reach the 1000 games played mark. For his career, he has recorded 552 points (203 goals and 349 assists). In 46 games this past season, he has recorded 20 points (eights goals and 12 assists). Zajac added a goal and an assist for the Islanders in the playoffs.
Zajac’s Legacy With The Devils
The only thing missing from Zajac’s trophy case is a Stanley Cup. Hence why he was acquired by the Islanders. Unfortunately, he fell short yet again from reaching his ultimate destination. Outside of playing 13 games with the Islanders, he spent his entire career with the Devils. Not too many players can say they have done that.
Zajac was one of the best in the league at taking faceoffs. Not to mention, he is a leader on and off the ice. In New Jersey, he helped guys like Nico Hischier, Pavel Zacha, and Jack Hughes learn the art of faceoff. In addition to his faceoff skills, Zajac is a very good penalty killer. Something every team needs during the stretch to the playoffs and beyond. Hence why he will stay on with the organization as an on/off-ice player development and consulting role. He will also work with the club’s youth hockey initiatives. Zajac will remain with the organization in an on/off-ice player development and consulting role, while also working to grow the club’s youth hockey initiatives.
The Devils will honour Travis Zajac during the Devils March 10th game against the Winnipeg Jets.
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