Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Jaromir Jagr
Even when he was an up-and-coming junior, the puck seemed magnetically drawn to Jaromir Jagr's stick. His size 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds makes the right winger tough to knock around, while his incredible touch, speed and creativity combine brilliantly to make him an almost unstoppable offensive force. His skills have propelled his teams, whether in the NHL or international play to titles and championships.

Jagr grew up in Kladno, Czechoslovakia, where he played for his hometown team and his size and skill began to garner the attention of scouts. After scoring 59 points in 51 games in 1989-90, he was chosen to play for the Czechoslovakian team at the 1990 World Junior Championships in Finland. He was the star of the tournament, netting 18 points in only seven games as Czechoslovakia skated to the bronze medal.

NHL scouts were intrigued, but many teams were hesitant to use a high draft pick to select Jagr. Unlike other highly rated standouts from his homeland such as Petr Nedved, Jagr was still in Czechoslovakia. He still had a year remaining on his contract with Kladno, after which he would have to perform two to three years of military service before he would be available to sign with a North American team, assuming that Kladno did not then hold him for a king's ransom.

In the 1990 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who already had an established franchise player in Mario Lemieux, could afford to take a gamble, and they chose Jagr fifth overall. It was an astute move, as the Penguins got their man much sooner than expected. The Eastern Bloc dissolved that summer and Jagr, suddenly free to move once Kladno released him, arrived in the United States as an 18-year-old rookie. As a symbol of his pride in his country, Jagr chose to wear Number 68, it represented the year of the Prague Spring, a short-lived surge of social reform in 1968 that was cut short when Soviet tanks rolled into Wenceslas Square.

Jagr did not immediately set the NHL on fire with his offensive skills. Over a four-week span early in 1990-91, he managed only 1 point and 12 shots on goal in 15 games. He was homesick, and his sense of isolation was compounded by his shaky grasp of English. With no one to talk to, his depression soon affected his game Jagr, usually an outgoing and energetic player on the ice, became despondent and quiet. The Penguins remedied the problem by making a trade with the Calgary Flames for 32-year-old Czech centerman Jiri Hrdina. Jagr's mood and his game were both elevated; he scored six goals and nine assists in the month after Hrdina arrived, and finished fourth in rookie scoring with 57 points. His performance earned him a berth on the NHL All-Rookie Team.

His play continued to improve during the playoffs, as the Penguins went on to win their first ever Stanley Cup, with Jagr contributing 13 points in a supporting role to the dominant Lemieux, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

In his second NHL season, Jagr's point total improved, as it would again in his third and fourth years. Seventeen of Jagr's 32 regular-season goals had come during the third period, earning him a well-deserved reputation as a man who could deliver a goal when his team needed it most. During the second game of the Patrick Division finals against the New York Rangers, Mario Lemieux broke his hand and the 20-year-old Jagr was suddenly thrust into the spotlight.

Jagr accepted the challenge gratefully. In game five, he scored the game-winning goal on a penalty shot. The Penguins rallied to eliminate the Rangers, who had been the NHL's top team during the regular season. Lemieux returned for part of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Bruins, and Pittsburgh set them down as well.

Over the course of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Jagr scored four game-winning goals, and placed fourth in playoff scoring with 24 points. Best of all, the Penguins won their second consecutive Cup championship.

Early in his career, Jagr was understandably overshadowed by his superstar teammate, Lemieux. One writer re-arranged the letters in "Jaromir" to spell "Mario Jr.", and that was the impression most people had of the skilled winger, who shared many physical attributes with his captain: the long, dark hair spilling out beneath the helmet; a strong, yet nimble body; and an offensive explosiveness. Even their jersey numbers, 66 and 68, were similar.

Injuries and health problems sidelined Lemieux for much of the mid-1990s, and the Penguins looked to Jagr to become the team's primary scorer. Jagr thrived under the pressure, fully realizing his tremendous potential during the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season. His 70 points in 48 games tied Philadelphia's Eric Lindros for the league lead, but Jagr scored more goals, 32 to Lindros' 29, and he became the first European-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy. Jagr was also named to the First All-Star Team and was runner-up for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's most valuable player.

In 1995-96, Jagr had a career year, setting records for points (149) and assists (87) by a right winger, breaking marks set by Mike Bossy. He was again named to the First All-Star Team. After Lemieux retired in 1997, Jagr led the league in scoring for three consecutive seasons beginning in 1997-98. At the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, he was partly responsible for once again filling Wenceslas Square in Prague with people, this time to watch Jagr and the rest of the Czech team defeat the Russians 1-0 for the Olympic gold medal.

Prior to the 1998-99 season, Jagr surprised many observers when he announced that he would like to be team captain, replacing Ron Francis, who had left the Penguins as a free agent. Jagr became more of a playmaker on the ice, taking his time and holding the puck until he found an open teammate. Always dangerous on individual rushes, he became almost impossible to contain once he dedicated himself to the team game.

Although his flowing locks of hair were recognized around the world, Jagr changed him image at the beginning of the new century. His new haircut, shorter, though still curly, received almost as much attention as his continuing dominance of the scoring race in 1999-00 and 2000-01. That summer, he was traded to Washington to begin a new phase in his NHL career as a mature man playing for the first time without Mario Lemieux's inspiration or influence.

Upon his arrival in Washington, Jagr has continued his offensive ways, leading the Caps in scoring in each of his two seasons with the team while suiting up once again with team Czech Republic at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

In 2003-04, Jagr continued his scoring ways, yet the team struggled and the trade rumours regarding the two-time Stanley Cup champion escalated just after the Christmas break and shortly after the rumours of Jagr becoming a New York Ranger became true. Jagr was dealt to the Blueshirts and going back to Washington was former Capital, Anson Carter.

As a member of the New York Rangers, Jagr would appear in every regular-season game over three and a half remarkable seasons. He would re-establish a number of the clubs single season records and set a number of personal landmarks including his 1,500th point and his 600th NHL goal.

In his first of three seasons in the Big Apple, Jagr recorded a stunning 123 points and led the Rangers back into the NHL playoffs. After he was named captain of the club just prior to the start of the 2006-07 NHL season, Jagr would go on to record his fifteenth straight 30-goal season. In 2007-08, he tallied 71 points and led the Rangers back into the playoffs for the third time in as many seasons. However, after the Rangers eliminated their rivals in New Jersey, Jagr and the blueshirts were eliminated by the eventual Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins.

On July 1, 2008 Jagr became a free agent for the first time in his career. Only three days later, he signed a two-year deal with Avangard Omsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.

After three solid seasons in the KHL, where he continued to score at a prodigious pace, Jagr signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers. He would appear in 73 games for the Flyers during the 2011-12 season, scoring 19 goals and adding 35 assists.

The following summer Jagr found himself once again an unrestricted free agent and this time signed on to join the Dallas Stars. His time in Dallas would be productive, but short-lived however. He would appear in just 34 games for the club during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, recording 14 goals and 12 assists, before being traded to the Boston Bruins one day prior to the NHL trade deadline.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1984-85 Poldi SONP Kladno Jr. Czech-Jr. 34 24 17 41
1985-86 Poldi SONP Kladno Jr. Czech-Jr. 36 41 29 70
1986-87 Poldi SONP Kladno Jr. Czech-Jr. 30 35 35 70
1987-88 Poldi SONP Kladno Jr. Czech-Jr. 35 57 27 84
1988-89 Poldi SONP Kladno Czech 29 3 3 6 4 10 5 7 12 0
1988-89 Czechoslovakia EJC-A 5 8 4 12 2
1989-90 Poldi Kladno Czech 42 22 28 50 9 8 2 10
1989-90 Czechoslovakia WJC-A 7 5 13 18 6
1989-90 Czechoslovakia WEC-A 10 3 2 5 2
1990-91 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 80 27 30 57 42 -4 24 3 10 13 6
1991-92 Czechoslovakia Can-Cup 5 1 0 1 0
1991-92 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 70 32 37 69 34 +12 21 11 13 24 6
1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 81 34 60 94 61 +30 12 5 4 9 23
1993-94 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 80 32 67 99 61 +15 6 2 4 6 16
1993-94 Czech Republic WC-A 3 0 2 2 2
1994-95 HC Kladno CzRep 11 8 14 22 10
1994-95 HC Bolzano Euroliga 5 8 8 16 4
1994-95 HC Bolzano Italy 1 0 0 0 0
1994-95 Schalker Haie 1987 Gelsenkirchen German-2 1 1 10 11 0
1994-95 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 48 32 38 70 37 +23 12 10 5 15 6
1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 82 62 87 149 96 +31 18 11 12 23 18
1996-97 Czech Republic W-Cup 3 1 0 1 2
1996-97 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 63 47 48 95 40 +22 5 4 4 8 4
1997-98 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 77 35 67 102 64 +17 6 4 5 9 2
1997-98 Czech Republic Olympics 6 1 4 5 2
1998-99 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 81 44 83 127 66 +17 9 5 7 12 16
1999-00 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 63 42 54 96 50 +25 11 8 8 16 6
2000-01 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 81 52 69 121 42 +19 16 2 10 12 18
2001-02 Washington Capitals NHL 69 31 48 79 30 0
2001-02 Czech Republic Olympics 4 2 3 5 4 +3
2001-02 Czech Republic WC-A 7 4 4 8 2 +5
2002-03 Washington Capitals NHL 75 36 41 77 38 +5 6 2 5 7 2
2003-04 Washington Capitals NHL 46 16 29 45 26 -4
2003-04 New York Rangers NHL 31 15 14 29 12 -1
2003-04 Czech Republic WC-A 7 5 4 9 6 +2
2004-05 Czech Republic W-Cup 5 1 1 2 2 +1
2004-05 HC Rabat Kladno CzRep 17 11 17 28 16
2004-05 Avangard Omsk Russia 32 16 22 38 63 11 4 10 14 22
2004-05 Czech Republic WC-A 8 2 7 9 2 +4
2005-06 New York Rangers NHL 82 54 69 123 72 +34 3 0 1 1 2
2005-06 Czech Republic Olympics 8 2 5 7 6 +1
2006-07 New York Rangers NHL 82 30 66 96 78 +26 10 5 6 11 12
2007-08 New York Rangers NHL 82 25 46 71 58 +8 10 5 10 15 12
2008-09 Avangard Omsk Region KHL 55 25 28 53 62 9 4 5 9 4
2008-09 Czech Republic WC-A 7 3 6 9 6 +4
2009-10 Avangard Omsk Region KHL 51 22 20 42 50 3 1 1 2 0
2009-10 Czech Republic Olympics 5 2 1 3 6 -1
2009-10 Czech Republic WC-A 9 3 4 7 12 +1
2010-11 Avangard Omsk Region KHL 49 19 31 50 48 14 2 7 9 8
2010-11 Czech Republic WC-A 9 5 4 9 4 +5
2011-12 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 73 19 35 54 30 +5 11 1 7 8 2
2012-13 Rytiri Kladno CzRep 34 24 33 57 28
2012-13 Dallas Stars NHL 34 14 12 26 20 -5
2012-13 Boston Bruins NHL 11 2 7 9 2 +3 22 0 10 10 8
2013-14 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 24 43 67 46 +16
2013-14 Czech Republic Olympics 5 2 1 3 2 +1
2013-14 Czech Republic WC-A 10 4 4 8 14 -2
NHL Totals 1473 705 1050 1755 1005 202 78 121 199 159


WJC-A All-Star Team (1990)
NHL All-Rookie Team (1991)
NHL First All-Star Team (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006)
Art Ross Trophy (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1997)
Lester B. Pearson Award (1999, 2000, 2006)
Hart Memorial Trophy (1999) WC-A All-Star Team (2004) Played in NHL All-Star Game (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Traded to Washington by Pittsburgh with Frantisek Kucera for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek, Ross Lupaschuk and future considerations, July 11, 2001. Traded to NY Rangers by Washington for Anson Carter, January 23, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Kladno (CzRep), September 17, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Omsk (Russia), November 7, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Omsk (KHL), July 4, 2008. Signed as a free agent by Philadelphia, July 1, 2011. Signed as a free agent by Dallas, July 3, 2012. Signed as a free agent by Kladno (CzRep), September 16, 2012. Traded to Boston by Dallas for Lane MacDermid, Cody Payne and Boston's 1st round choice (Jason Dickinson) in 2013 Entry Draft, April 2, 2013. Signed as a free agent by New Jersey, July 23, 2013.