With the New Jersey Devils,’ New York Rangers,’ and New York Islanders’ home arenas all less than an hour away, Essex County is bound to have some National Hockey League players calling it home. With its convenient location, great nightlife, an abundance of restaurant choices and great shopping, the various towns within the County have everything you need for both an emerging or established professional hockey player. Let’s take a look at some NHL players who have made Essex County their home.
Martin Brodeur is known as one of the greatest hockey players to come out of not only the New Jersey Devils but the entire league. The former goaltender is a three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Devils and is a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee. Although he is from Montreal, Canada, Brodeur lived in various North Jersey towns including Montclair and West Orange while playing for the Devils.
His two sons, Jeremy and Anthony, grew up in Essex County and also ended up playing hockey while keeping their ties to New Jersey. Anthony was a 7th round pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Devils,23 years after his father was drafted 20th overall, ended his playing career with the University of Ottawa in 2020. Jeremy is an undrafted goaltender who is currently with the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League (AHL). Jeremy signed and played three games with the Binghamton Devils, New Jersey’s AHL team, this past season.
Over his 22-year career, Martin set the NHL record for games played (1,266), wins (691), losses (367), and shutouts (125), and still holds them to this day. He is a four-time Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) winner, five-time Jennings Trophy (goaltender who allowed the fewest goals) winner, a seven-time NHL All-Star, the 1993-94 Calder Trophy winner (best league rookie), and his jersey was retired by the Devils. . Brodeur’s entire career was played with the Devils, with the exception of seven games where he played with the Saint Louis Blues before retiring in 2015.
Sergei Brylin is a former NHL center originally from Moscow, Russia. He was drafted in the second round by the New Jersey Devils in 1992 and went on to play 13 seasons with them before ending his professional career in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He chose to stay in North Jersey and live in Short Hills with his family and is currently an assistant coach with the Utica Comets of the AHL. Sergei is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion and totaled 129 goals and 179 assists in 765 games played with the Devils.
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Another well-known Devil who has lived in North Jersey for some time is Ken Daneyko. The former defenseman also played the entirety of his career as a Devil and was a member of the three Stanley Cup-winning teams. Over the span of his 20 years on the ice, he collected 178 points, 2,516 penalty minutes and holds the record for most games played as a Devil (1,283). His jersey was eventually retired by the team in 2006.
Ken was born in Ontario, Canada, and was picked 18th overall at the 1982 NHL Draft. Although he lived in North Caldwell during his playing career, Ken now resides in Morris County. He continues to be involved with the league as a Devils color commentator on MSG Network and a frequent contributor as an analyst on NHL Network.
Jamie Langenbrunner is another former member of the Devils who resided in North Caldwell while playing.. He played 20 seasons in the NHL: nine each with the Dallas Stars and Devils, and two with Saint Louis before retiring in 2014. During his tenure with New Jersey, he served as captain for four seasons and won the Stanley Cup with the team in 2003. Jamie also won a Stanley Cup preceding that with Dallas in 1999. The right-winger netted 243 goals and had 420 assists over his 1,109-game career. Keeping in touch with the hockey world, Jamie is currently the Director of Player Development and Player Personnel Advisor for the Boston Bruins.
After being the 3rd overall pick by the Devils in the 1991 NHL Draft, Scott Niedermayer started his 1,263-game career there. The former defenseman is of Canadian descent but lived in Montclair while playing for the team. Following 13 seasons in New Jersey, Scott played five seasons with the Anaheim Ducks before ending his NHL career after the 2009-10 season.
He is a four-time Stanley Cup champion, three with New Jersey and one with Anaheim;a James Norris Memorial Trophy (best all-around defenseman) winner; and the 2006-07 Conn Smythe Trophy (most valuable player in playoffs) winner. Scott had 172 goals and 568 assists in his career and his jersey was retired by both the Devils and Ducks.
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Zach Parise is one of the current NHL players that formerly lived in Essex County. He played his first seven seasons for the Devils and lived in West Orange during that time. Zach had 194 goals and 216 assists in New Jersey, where he captained the team to the 2012 Stanley Cup Final.
After that season he went to his hometown team, the Minnesota Wild, where he spent nine years, before most recently signing a contract with the New York Islanders. Zach has 1,060 games played along with 393 total goals and 417 total assists to his career and is known as a consistent, speedy forward in the league.
In addition to living in Union County and Jersey City, Devils defenseman Damon Severson also lived in West Orange during his career. The 27-year-old born in Saskatchewan, Canada is going into his eighth season with New Jersey after being picked in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft. He has 40 goals and 144 assists to his name, with the 2018-19 season being his best with 11 goals and 28 assists. As a current player, Damon is known to be a reliant defensive partner and brings experience to the current young team.
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P.K. Subban is known for his personality both on and off the ice. As a current member of the Devils, he resides in a Short Hills home. The 32-year-old is originally from Toronto, Canada, and was picked 43rd overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2007 NHL Draft. P.K. played seven years in Montreal and three years in Nashville before coming over to New Jersey in 2019, where he has since become an alternate captain.
This defenseman knows how to accrue points, as he already has 110 goals and 335 assists over his 757 games played. P.K. also won the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2012-13 with Montreal and has been on several NHL All-Star teams.
In addition to his hockey career P.K. has a big social media presence, including one million followers on both Instagram and Twitter as well as a growing Youtube channel.
Having played all but 13 of his 1,037-game career with the Devils, Travis Zajac most recently signed a one-day contract with New Jersey to retire with the team he felt represents him the most. After being a core part of the Devils centers from 2006-2021, Travis got traded to the Islanders shortly before the 2021 NHL Playoffs.
Originally from Winnipeg, Canada, he was drafted 20th overall in 2004 and went on to accumulate 203 goals and 349 assists over his career. Travis set a Devils record for consecutive games played between 2006 and 2011 (401) and participated in the team’s Stanley Cup Final run after missing most of the season to injury in 2012.
This former center used to own a home in Montclair while playing for the Devils. Danius Zubrus is from Elektrenai, Lithuania, and was the first player born there to reach 1,000 NHL games. Danius played on a variety of teams during his career, including the Devils, Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres, and San Jose Sharks. He spent 2007-2015 in New Jersey, totaling 90 goals and 137 assists over the span. The former 15th pick of the 1996 NHL Draft by the Flyers, Danius played a total of 1,293 games in the NHL before retiring in 2016.