Jaromir Jagr's National Hockey League career has brought him across the league, across the world, and throughout various different playoff runs. Jagr is a testament to working hard and putting in the extra effort that other players do not bother with. While Jagr would be an outstanding player even without his hard work, we doubt that he would be able to put up the numbers he has put up throughout his career had he not worked as hard as he has. His work ethic is unprecedented and legendary, and it is part of what aided him in getting to the age of 45 years old this season while still contributing in the NHL. In fact, as the largely-led by young talented players Florida Panthers look to find a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the team finds themselves leaning on the 45 year old Jagr more than ever.
Given his old age, Jagr has surpassed plenty of milestones and is considered a mentor for many of his teammates. One of the most exciting things for additions to the Panthers is the ability to join Jagr and play alongside a legend. So many players got to do so, however, as Jagr has been in the league for so long. He made his NHL debut on October 7th, 1990. Someone born in 1991 would be 26 years old today. Thus, there are many NHL superstars that were not yet born when Jaromir Jagr made his NHL debut. Let's look at the list of players who fit the bill.
15 Aaron Ekblad
Aaron Ekblad should already be the captain of the Florida Panthers, but for whatever reason the Panthers decided to give that title to Derek MacKenzie instead. Ekblad is the leader in the clubhouse and on the ice for the Panthers, often being joked about as being far older than he actually is. Regardless of age, however, Ekblad s one of the best young defensemen in the NHL, with a tremendous future ahead of him. Considering age, however, Ekblad was born on February 7, 1996. That's over five years after Jaromir Jagr made his NHL debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Yet as Ekblad grows his game in the NHL, Jagr continues to plug along as one of the top forwards playing with the young, dynamic defenseman.
14 Connor McDavid
We could not write this list without including the top young phenom in the National Hockey League. In fact, we would not be too surprised if Connor McDavid became the best player in the entire NHL within the next few seasons. What is most amazing in comparing Jaromir Jagr and Connor McDavid is that McDavid was born in 1997, seven years after Jagr's NHL debut. That means Jaromir Jagr was already considered an NHL veteran when Connor McDavid was first being born. Now the two are in the same league together, and if Jagr didn't speak out against not wanting to participate, the two could have been part of an All-Star Game together. What a tremendous accomplishment by Jagr, though McDavid is the superstar now.
13 David Pastrnak
Jaromir Jagr is the best player in the NHL today that hails from the Czech Republic. Other talented players exist in the league, but Jagr is the marquee name, and will be until he retires. One other name that holds plenty of talent and also happens to play in the Atlantic Division is young phenom of the Boston Bruins David Pastrnak. Pastrnak was born in 1996, yet now is one of the elite young talents the National Hockey League has to offer. Pastrnak and Jagr can be found battling for playoff positioning each night, despite the fact that Jagr is over two times as old as Pastrnak. It may be a young man's game, but don't tell Jaromir Jagr that. He's ready to compete against anyone.
12 Andrei Vasilevskiy
Jaromir Jagr plays in the Sunshine State for the Florida Panthers, but the Panthers are not the only NHL team that inhabits the sunny confines. The Sunshine State also hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning, who recently traded their goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings. The move allowed young Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to take over the reins as the starting netminder for the short and long term futures of the team. Now, Vasilevskiy is the man in charge, despite only being 22 years old. At 22 years old, he was not yet born when Jaromir Jagr first took the ice as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. So when Jagr tries to score on Vasilevskiy, remember that little factoid about their respective careers.
11 Seth Jones
Jaromir Jagr currently has 35 points this season, a fine number for any top six player, but a ridiculously impressive statistic for a player of Jagr's age. However low Jagr may rank in the overall NHL points per player standings, he still ranks above plenty of talented players. However he also has some players he is likely to catch up to, with one of those being an All-Star this year for the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets. Seth Jones has one more point than Jaromir Jagr this season, and watching the two of them compete for points on the leaderboard should be interesting considering when Jagr started his National Hockey League career, Seth Jones was not about to be born for another four years.
10 Tyler Seguin
Though it seems to many like Tyler Seguin has been a member of the National Hockey League for an extend period of time, that is likely only because he has had great success in his NHL career thus far with the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars. Jaromir Jagr also happened to play for both the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars, though for short stints with each team only. Now Tyler Seguin ranks 10th in the entire NHL in points at the age of 25. Seguin was born a year after Jaromir Jagr made his NHL debut, but that isn't stopping Seguin from climbing the NHL leaderboards, or Jagr from continuing on as a top six forward for the NHL's playoff hopeful Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference.
9 Patrik Laine
Patrik Laine is only 18 years old. Before we get into a comparison with Jaromir Jagr and all that, let's take a second to think about that. Patrik Laine, he of 32 goals and 27 assists in his rookie season, is only 18 years old. The Finnish forward is lighting up the National Hockey League in his rookie season, nearly single-handedly keeping the Winnipeg Jets in the playoff picture. However when Laine was born, Jaromir Jagr was already over seven years into his NHL career. Again, Patrik Laine is only 18 years old, while Jaromir Jagr is 45 years old. Yet the two share a league, and when the Jets and Panthers meet in their rare tilts, the two take the ice with the same purpose.
8 Vladimir Tarasenko
One of the top young goal scorers in the National Hockey League, some have compared Vladimir Tarasenko to the younger version of Jaromir Jagr. Tarasenko was born in January of 1991, around the time that Jagr was playing in his first National Hockey League All-Star Game. Jagr was already competing in the highest events when Tarasenko was being born, but the two battle head to head when the St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers meet on the ice now. It's a testament to all of the hard work Jagr has put in, as if Tarasenko does the same perhaps one day he can be a 45 year old star in the NHL. For now, he's a youngster who wasn't born when Jagr made his debut.
7 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
An interesting name selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the late 2000s was Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Nugent-Hopkins is an interesting case because his season statistics fall below that of Jaromir Jagr, despite Jagr being a much older player. Nugent-Hopkins was born in 1993, over two years after Jagr's playing career started. Like Connor McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins has high expectations on his back for this and the upcoming seasons, while Jagr is impressing people simply by continuing to play the sport of hockey professionally. Still, Jagr has outscored Nugent-Hopkins this season, so despite the different expectations it is Jagr, not Nugent-Hopkins, who is showing the NHL what to be afraid of. maybe in 20 years Nugent-Hopkins can catch up.
6 Taylor Hall
Since we are in the business of speaking about former first overall first round draft picks by the Edmonton Oilers, we might as well continue with the trend. This player not only was once selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers, but he also currently plays for the last team Jaromir Jagr played for before Jagr was traded to the Florida Panthers. Taylor Hall is an elite scorer suffering a down year because he plays for the New Jersey Devils, a team that could certainly use someone like Jaromir Jagr once again. Jagr failed to make the playoffs as a member of the Devils, one of the few stops he was unsuccessful in. However he is seeing more success as a member of the Panthers.
5 Gabriel Landeskog
Gabriel Landeskog is the captain of the worst team in the entire National Hockey League, the Colorado Avalanche. Gabriel Landeskog is suffering a down season of sorts, truly struggling to find the back of the net and contribute in the ways expected of him. While Jaromir Jagr is not exactly showing opposing teams that he is an elite talent, he is at least contributing above expectations. Landeskog is failing to do so, despite being 21 years younger than the Florida Panthers' forward. Landeskog has had an odd career trajectory, being named captain of the Avalanche at a very young age. However if he wants to solidify himself a spot among the best players in the NHL, taking a page out of Jagr's playbook would be wise.
4 John Gibson
In the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, the Atlantic Division met the Pacific Division in the championship game to determine who would win the big prize at the end. The game ended up becoming the John Scott show, but John Gibson was terrific between the pipes against a club led by none other than Jaromir Jagr. Jagr scored in a different game, but failed to tally a marker against Gibson in the finals of the mini-tournament in the new format of the All-Star Game. Now Gibson continues to play a terrific net for the Anaheim Ducks at the age of 23, while the player 22 years older than him, Jaromir Jagr, continues to try to find new ways to get the puck past goalies like Gibson.
3 Matt Murray
Jaromir Jagr made his National Hockey League debut as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Jagr hoisted Lord Stanley's Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. So although he is now one of the marquee members of the Florida Panthers' organization, Jagr holds great ties to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and community. With that in mind, we cannot help but wonder how Jagr felt when Matt Murray helped lead the Penguins to a Stanley Cup Final victory last season. We also wonder how Jagr, 45, felt when Murrary, 22 at the time, led the way between the pipes for the Penguins. Murray was phenomenal for the Penguins over 24 years after Jagr was a tremendous rookie for the very same organization. Yet he still trucks on.
2 Filip Forsberg
Filip Forsberg has been the talk of the National Hockey League of late, willing the Nashville Predators to a series of victories like vintage Jaromir Jagr used to do for his respective teams. Although Jagr can score some and lead the Florida Panthers to some victories, he rarely is the leading cause of victory for the Panthers. usually serving as more of a complementary player instead. With that being said, Forsberg was born in 1994, over three years after Jagr made his NHL debut for the Pittsburgh Penguins and began showing youngsters across the league what an entrance into the NHL was all about. As we praise Forsberg's fantastic breakout. it's worth remembering that Jagr was one of the originators of wowing people early in his career.
1 Mitch Marner
Everyone knows Auston Matthews is an elite National Hockey League talent at an absurdly young age, but Mitch Marner does not get nearly enough credit for also fitting that bill. Marner is 19 years old, under half as old as the 45 year old Jaromir Jagr. Marner has put up ridiculous numbers for a rookie this season, notching 16 goals and 37 assists. That's right, Marner has more assists than Jagr has points this season. The two both play in the Atlantic Division, and it is fascinating to watch Jagr try to use his experience and brains, while Marner looks to use his skill and his creativity in today's NHL. Regardless, Jagr certainly has the experience, as Marner was not yet born when Jagr was getting things done at the beginning of his career.