He was drafted in an era where the National Hockey League Entry Draft went beyond the seven rounds it is today. He was drafted from the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL. Only one player drafted in the eight or ninth round played more than the 430 NHL games he did. And only 13 players drafted in the third round or later played more games in the NHL. There were 225 players selected in rounds three to nine and only 13 played more games than him. He was selected in the eighth round – 241st overall.
He is Milan Jurcina.
Following his draft, Jurcina would go on to play two more season of Canadian Major Junior Hockey with the Mooseheads. He would make his professional debut with the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League during the 2003-2004 season.
Jurcina would play a second season with the Baby B’s before making his NHL debut with the Bruins during the 2005-2006 season. That season, he would also represent his native Slovakia at the Olympics and the World Championships.
Jurcina began the 2006-2007 season with the Bruins but a trade sent him to the Washington Capitals for a conditional 3rd or 4th round pick (conditional if he averaged 20 minutes per game). Jurcina didn’t meet the condition so the Bruins received Washington’s 4th round pick – the 114th overall pick. Just nine days later, the Bruins would trade that pick along with Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau to the Calgary Flames for Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew. The Flames would use that pick to select T. J. Brodie.
Jurcina would finish out that season with the Capitals and then go on to play to full seasons with them. During the 2009-2010 season, Jurcina would be traded again, this time to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He was packages with Chris Clark in exchange for Jason Chimera on December 28, 2009. Less than three months later, he was traded back to the Capitals for a conditional sixth round pick at the 2010 Entry Draft. That pick was never exercised.
Before the 2010-2011 season, the New York Islanders signed Jurcina as an unrestricted free agent. He would spend two seasons with the Islanders.
In 430 career NHL games, Jurcina would score 22 goals and 59 assists with 280 penalty minutes and finished his NHL career a minus-28.
Once his NHL career ended, Jurcina would head to Europe. He would play professional in Czechia then move onto two seasons in Finland in the Liiga. He had a brief stint with the Swiss league before going to the KHL for two seasons. From there he went on to play three full seasons in Germany and then four full seasons back in Czechia ending with the 2022-2023 season.
So where is Jurcina today?
Well, this week the Israel National Hockey Society announced that Jurcina will join Holon Vipers if the IEHL for the 2023-2024 season. Jurcina will turn 40 years of age on June 7.
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