Jaromir Jagr is now in his 23rd season in the National Hockey League as he decided to re-sign with the Florida Panthers this past spring. The team made some big strides in being a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. The Miami Herald reports that he’s looking to be in better physical shape than last year. That might be why he’s told some reporters that he could play until he turns 50 years old.
At the age of 44, the Czech-born hockey legend has found a lot of success on the ice ever since he was drafted with the fifth overall pick by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990 NHL Draft. While he’s moved around to play for eight separate NHL teams, he’s accumulated 749 goals and 1,119 assists for a total of 1,868 points.
He’s already put himself among the best of the best with his career numbers. Jagr is currently third all-time in NHL points, although he is far from Wayne Gretzky’s 2,857 points. Jagr is also third in goals and sixth all-time in assists. Because hockey is a team sport, it’s safe to say that Jagr’s success comes from the players he’s been with. But while he’s shared the ice with other legends like Mario Lemieux, not all of his teammates were superstars.
In fact, he’s had his share of not so talented teammates between the eight different sweaters he’s worn. The following are the 15 worst players that Jaromir Jagr has played with through the last 26 years of his professional hockey career.
15 Sylvain Cote
This isn’t to say that Sylvain Cote was a terrible player overall. He had a few good seasons as a defenseman who played a total of 1,171 games in the NHL. But when he played with the Washington Capitals late in his career (his second stint with the team), his production fell sharply and he had some of the worst numbers of his career while playing with Jagr.
In the 2000-01 season, Cote had seven goals in 68 games, but finished with a minus-three rating. In the very next season, he played in 70 games, but Cote scored less with only three goals and a minus-15 rating. His career would end after only one game in the 2002-03 season. He still finished with 435 overall points in his career.
14 Wendell Young
Not all of the goalkeepers that Jagr took the ice with were necessarily names you would expect to see on a Stanley Cup. But Wendell Young was essentially a backup goaltender when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the 1991 and 1992 Stanley Cups. But his numbers weren’t really all that impressive. During Jagr’s rookie season, Young had a record of 4-6-2 with a 4.04 goals against average.
During the 1991-92 season, he was slightly better with a 7-6-0 record and a GAA at 3.79. He played a few more seasons between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. But Young’s career record as a backup included a GAA barely below 4.00 and a record of 59-86-12 in the net. His playoff experience wasn’t much better, with five goals allowed in one game back in 1986 against Vancouver.
13 Eric Nystrom
Jagr’s time with the Dallas Stars was very brief in the 2012-13 season before he was traded to the Boston Bruins. It was for the best as the Stars were still not fully developed as a playoff contender. One player who never seemed to fully develop as a left winger was Eric Nystrom. The former first round selection in the 2002 NHL Draft by Calgary struggled despite having a few seasons with 82 games.
But in the 48-game shortened 2012-13 season with the Dallas Stars, he only had seven goals with four assists. It didn’t get much better near the end of his career as he had a minus-25 rating with the Nashville Predators in the 2013-14 season. His career included a minus-73 rating with 75 goals over a 10-year career.
12 Milan Kraft
There was a lot of hope in the potential for center Milan Kraft. He was the 23rd overall selection in the 1998 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. After scoring 74 career goals in the Western Hockey League’s Prince Albert Raiders, he seemed to show some of that offensive promise when he played for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the NHL to begin the 2000-01 hockey season.
During his time in the AHL, he had 21 goals and 23 assists in 40 games. But in 42 games he played that season in Pittsburgh, he only had seven goals in 42 games. His numbers did improve in the 2003-04 seasons after Jagr’s departure with 19 goals in 66 games. But that was the last he was seen in the NHL as he played only 207 games with 41 total goals.
11 Steve McKenna
Steve McKenna was a left winger who didn’t have a lot of success playing with the Los Angeles Kings in the 1990s – finishing with five career goals in 137 games. He started the 2000-01 season with the Minnesota Wild, which was the team’s inaugural season. In 20 games with the Wild, McKenna had just one goal while averaging nearly eight minutes per game.
It wasn’t much better when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins later that season. McKenna played in 34 games on the same roster as Jagr. McKenna wouldn’t score a single point and had a minus-4 rating. His final three seasons between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh yielded little results, although his nine goals within 79 games in 2002-03 was a career high with the Penguins.
10 Dave Bolland
Dave Bolland had some decent numbers when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2006 to 2013.While he was with the Blackhawks when they won the Stanley Cup in 2010 and 2013, he had his best seasons in between those championship seasons with 15 goals in 2010-11 and another 19 goals in the 2011-12 season. But his time on the ice and his production started to decline in the 2012-13 season in Chicago and also with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013-14 season.
He did have 23 points with the Florida Panthers in the 2014-15 season playing with Jagr, but his production went down last season with one goal in 25 games. Bolland is hoping that his new surroundings with the Arizona Coyotes will allow him to find some resurgence closer to what he did during his time in Chicago.
9 Mike Sislo
Jagr didn’t necessarily have a fun time when he was playing with the New Jersey Devils in the 2013-14 season. Long gone were the days when the team was a perennial playoff team and they were finishing in the middle of their division. One player who wasn’t able to pan out with the team at the time was Mike Sislo, a undrafted free agent who played in a total of 14 games and only recorded two shots – not good for someone who plays right wing.
After Jagr left, Sislo had two more stints playing in New Jersey that yielded little results. In the 2014-15 season, Sislo had one assist over 10 games. He did have three goals in the 18 games he played last season with the Devils. While he is currently signed with the Colorado Avalanche, the odds are that he will likely be playing in their AHL affiliate in the San Antonio Rampage.
8 Tim Sestito
While Mike Sislo didn’t have a lot of games to play in the NHL to prove himself, Tim Sestito was another undrafted player who did actually have a lot of time on the ice. The problem was that he was never able to score a single goal while he was in the New Jersey Devils organization. He failed to score in 36 games in the 2010-11 season and the opportunities only decreased when Jagr came for the 2013-14 season.
In the season he played with Jagr, he had the most points of any season in his career off of three assists in 16 games. Overall, Sestito played in 101 games in the NHL between the Devils and the Edmonton Oilers and finished his career with a minus-11 rating with only eight assists.
7 Erik Gustafsson
Jaromir Jagr joined a Philadelphia Flyers team that was hoping to make a run to another Stanley Cup Finals from a few years ago. While they were a playoff contender, this team had a few players who were not meeting the necessary expectations. Erik Gustafsson was someone who wasn’t able to score a lot of points in his four years on the NHL ice with the Flyers.
In the 30 games he played with the Flyers the year they had Jagr, Gustafsson only scored one goal and four assists. It was statistically one of his better seasons because he had a plus-12 rating that year. But he wasn’t able to maintain a roster spot beyond the 2013-14 NHL season, where he scored just two goals in 31 games.
6 Alek Stojanov
The Vancouver Canucks drafted Alek Stojanov with the seventh overall pick in the 1991 NHL Draft. He had some success in the OHL with the Hamilton Dukes and Guelph Storm before he would make the move to the AHL. It wasn’t until he moved to the Syracuse Crunch where he would score some points. He was a bruiser of a player who often collected a large number of penalty minutes.
After scoring only one point in his first two seasons with the Canucks in the NHL, he was traded to Pittsburgh during the 1995-96 season. In 45 total games in two seasons, Stojanov scored only one goal and five total points. He wasn’t able to produce at the level one would have expected from a first round selection.
5 Chris Bourque
Maybe there was a lot of pressure coming from being the son of one of the best players in NHL history – Ray Bourque. Chris Bourque, a left winger, was a second round pick by the Washington Capitals and spent some time developing in the minors until he spent 20 games with the Penguins after a trade in the 2009-2010 season. But the young Bourque spent a year with Jagr with the Boston Bruins in the 2012-13 season.
Bourque scored only one goal in 18 games with the Bruins that year, which was his second goal of a four-year NHL career. It would be his last stint in the NHL as he wasn’t on the active roster when the Bruins advanced to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final – a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
4 Aaron Johnson
While Jagr had plenty of talent with the Boston Bruins in the forms of goalkeeper Tuukka Rask and defenseman Zdeno Chara, there were a few who weren’t able to keep a spot on the roster after a disappointing career. Aaron Johnson was originally drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2001 NHL Draft, but didn’t debut in the league until the 2003-04 season.
His longest stint in the league was a 61-game season with the Blue Jackets during the 2006-07 season. Johnson only had three goals and seven assists. But he wasn’t able to find a lot of opportunities as he was only able to play 10 games with the Bruins on their Stanley Cup run in the 2012-13 season. He would attempt to play for the New York Rangers on a one-year contract for the 2013-14 season, but was never able to advance beyond their AHL affiliate team with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
3 Colton Orr
He may have had the last name Orr, but he was nowhere near as talented as Bobby Orr. Colton Orr played right wing throughout his NHL career and actually played a good number of games during his 11 years in the league. He was in his second season with the New York Rangers when he shared the ice with Jagr from 2005 to 2008.
However, the 2007-08 season saw him score only one goal in 74 games that season. When Jagr left for to play in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, Orr played his first 82-game season – scoring only one goal again. Ice time wasn’t his friend, but for a winger to have only 12 total goals in 477 games feels like a huge disappointment; even if he was mostly used as an enforcer on the ice.
2 Toby Petersen
Toby Petersen was only a ninth-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1998 NHL Draft. But he did finally make an appearance in the NHL in the 2000-01 season. Granted, he only played 12 games with Jagr and the Penguins as a center who averaged more than 13 minutes per game.
This was during Jagr’s final season with the Penguins where they were eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals. But Toby Petersen would cross paths with Jagr again, albeit only for one game early in the 2012-13 season when both were signed with the Dallas Stars. Despite playing nearly 400 games in the league, he had 33 goals and a minus-40 rating through nine seasons with three different teams.
1 Rostislav Olesz
Similar to some of the other players like Dave Bolland, Rostislav Olesz had some early success in his NHL career. There were some high expectations when he was drafted seventh overall by the Florida Panthers in the 2004 NHL Draft. He would play six years in Florida, where he finished with 57 goals and 75 assists in nearly 350 games.
But his production fell greatly when he went to play in Chicago – six games with no goals or assists. When he was signed with the Devils the same season as Jagr for 2013-14, he had only two assists in the 10 games he dressed for. Since that season, he has played hockey in other leagues over in Europe, where he’s likely going to end his professional career.