Jaromir Jagr has long defied any normal expectations for longevity and sustained greatness, and is now returning for a seemingly unfathomable 33rd professional season.
Jagr suited up for the Kladno Knights of the Czech Republic’s top-tier Extraliga on Wednesday, where he also serves as team president and co-owner.
The 48-year-old Jagr burst onto the NHL scene immediately after being selected with the fifth overall pick in the 1990 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, and immediately helped the Penguins to consecutive Stanley Cup wins in 1991 and 1992. If you really want to mark Jagr’s professional longevity, Jagr’s Stanley Cup rings are older than the average NHL player.
Jagr was arguably the most dominant player of the late 1990s, winning five Art Ross Trophies, including three consecutive scoring titles from 1998-2000, while capturing the Hart Trophy in 1999. During this time, Jagr and Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek led the Czech Republic to Olympic gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.
Analyst Dimitri Filipovic tweeted out Jagr’s career statistics across all levels and it’s hard not to be in awe, even if Jagr’s iconic status in the game has been cemented for almost three decades.
There is simply not much left to say about one of hockey’s all-time great players that hasn’t already been said, and though time slows down for no man, Jagr is doing his best to prove to be the exception to the immutable rule.
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