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Jakub Voráček Announces Retirement After 15 Seasons

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

Former Philadelphia Flyers winger, Jakub Voráček, announced his retirement from professional hockey, in an interview with CNN Prima News in the Czech Republic.

Voráček, 34, played 15 seasons split between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Flyers, amassing 806 points (223G, 583A) in 1,058 games. He scored 604 points (177G, 427A) in 727 games with the Flyers between 2011-2012 and 2020-2021, and added 202 points (46G, 156A) in 331 games for the Blue Jackets in two separate stints.

Drafted seventh overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Blue Jackets, the Flyers selected James van Riemsdyk second overall, Voráček spent his first three seasons in Columbus before getting traded to the Flyers in a 2011 summer blockbuster deal for Jeff Carter, who recently retired, too. Paul Holmgren swung for the fences, acquiring the Czech winger alongside first-round and third-round picks in the 2011 draft. Those picks became Sean Couturier and Nick Cousins.

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

In his first season with the Flyers, a season where the team did a complete roster overhaul, Voráček reached a then career-high 18 goals in 78 games. He scored 10 points (2G, 8A) in 11 post-season contests, including his first NHL postseason goal; the overtime game-winner against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Voráček signed a four-year extension in the summer before joining the top line with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. His offensive game reached new heights, scoring 390 points (118G, 272A) in 449 games across the next six seasons, including a career-high 23 goals in 2013-2014, and then a career-high 65 assists and a career-high 85 points in 2017-2018.

He formed a formidable duo with Giroux for a decade, adding 208 power play points (46G, 162A) and 25 game-winning goals in his 10 years with the Flyers. He ranks 10th all-time in franchise history in points, fifth all-time in franchise history in assists and power play assists, and 19th all-time in franchise history in goals.

Unfortunately, his tenure with the club was cut short. Voráček did not see eye-to-eye with head coach Alain Vigneault, who retired before this season. In the summer of 2021, he was traded back to Columbus in exchange for Cam Atkinson on the second day of the draft. The Flyers were looking to weed out the players they felt carried a negative aura; in other words, did not mesh with the head coach. They underwent another roster overhaul, and then Voráček, Nolan Patrick, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Phil Myers found new homes.

Voráček played two more seasons between 2021-2023, scoring 68 points (7G, 61A) in 90 games, including a 62-point (6G, 56A) campaign in 2021-2022. He played just 11 games in 2022-2023, missing the rest of the season after he sustained a concussion. He was traded to the Arizona Coyotes in 2023, and placed on long-term injured reserve to help the Coyotes reach the minimum salary cap floor, but never played another game due to his concussion.

“It’s because of the head and the injury. It’s just over, but that’s part of a hockey career. One day it ends, and somewhere else, something new begins.” – Jakub Voráček; 4/23/2024

Internationally, Voráček won gold at the 2010 IIHF World Championships and bronze at the 2011 IIHF World Championships and 2006 IIHF U18 Championships. He represented his country at two IIHF World Junior Championships, the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014, and the FIH Hockey World Cup in 2016. Voráček had his best showing in the 2019 IIHF World Championships, scoring 16 points (4G, 12A) in 10 games.

“Jarda [Jágr] called me in September to see if I could help. So, I decided to give it a try part-time. I enjoy it very much. We’ll see what happens in the future, but I can’t go on the ice anymore.” – Jakub Voráček; 4/23/2024

In 2023-2024, Voráček joined Rytíři Kladno of the Czech Extraliga, the team owned by Jaromir Jágr, as an assistant coach.

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