Travis Zajac is back where he belongs.
The veteran forward officially stepped away from the game he loves on Monday morning, signing a one-day contract to retire as a member of the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils also announced that Zajac will join the organization in a player development and consulting role, and will be honored by the team during the Devils’ March 10th matchup with his hometown Winnipeg Jets.
Zajac, whom the Devils drafted 20th overall back in 2004, spent nearly his entire 15-year NHL career in New Jersey, spending only 13 games in another team’s uniform after joining the New York Islanders via trade at this past deadline.
In 1037 career NHL games, 1024 of which were with New Jersey, Zajac racked up 203 goals and 349 assists for 552 points while finishing top-10 in Selke Award voting on two occasions.
Zajac retires now with his name plastered all over the Devils’ record books. His 202 goals place him fourth all-time in franchise history, while his 1,024 games rank him fourth, his 348 assists rank him fifth, and his 550 points rank him third.
While never a prolific offensive weapon, Zajac still managed to contribute at a high level on that side of the ice all while logging significant minutes in high-leverage situations and establishing himself as one of the NHL’s better defensive forwards of his era. Zajac was also a remarkably clean player throughout his career, never serving more than 33 minutes in penalties in one season despite never capturing a Lady Byng.
Zajac is one of those players who never looked right wearing any colors other than those of the team with which he’d spent nearly his entire career.
Retiring as a Devil, Zajac can once again don his trademark red and black.