Patrik Elias honored with Devils jersey retirement

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 24: Former New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias and his family look on as his
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 24: Former New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias and his family look on as his /

Patrik Elias had his remarkable career celebrated as his jersey was retired by the New Jersey Devils.

Retired Czech forward Patrik Elias saw his No. 26 jersey hoisted to the rafters by the New Jersey Devils. Elias became New Jersey’s all-time leading scorer over the course of a 20-year NHL career.

The Devils legend was emotional as his achievements were celebrated in a special pre-game ceremony before the team faced off against the New York Islanders.

Elias, now aged 41 years old, was drafted by the Devils 51st overall in 1994. He made his first appearance for the side in 1995 and spent the next 20 years with the Devils.

Over that time Elias became New Jersey’s top point scorer of all time. He ended his impressive NHL career with 1,025 points, including more than 400 goals.

A two-time Stanley Cup champion, Elias was also an all-star and an Olympian with the Czech national side. His best season came in 2000/01, when he ripped home 40 goals and had 96 points.

Known as a great skater with blistering speed, Elias also had a rocket of a shot. But it was his work ethic willingness to work in the defensive zone that set him out as a fan favorite.

Ahead of the game against the Islanders, Elias walked through the crowd to get to the ice.

He delivered a moving speech and stood on the ice with his family, welling up as his banner was raised. It will hang in the rafters of the Prudential Center, alongside other Devils legends.

Fans chanted “Paddy!” as the banner went up.

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Elias is the fifth player to be honored in such a way by New Jersey. The flying winger follows Ken Daneyko, Scott Stevens, Scott Neidermayer and Martin Brodeur. He is also the first European player to get the jersey retirement treatment.