New Jersey Devils 2012 Stanley Cup Team: Where are they now?

Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Dainius Zubrus with the New Jersey Devils in 2013. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dainius Zubrus with the New Jersey Devils in 2013. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Dainius Zubrus

Dainius Zubrus was one of the team’s most consistent players for most of his tenure with the New Jersey Devils. The Lithuanian forward was extremely versatile, hard-working, and a more than capable defender.

Zubrus joined the New Jersey Devils in the summer of 2007 when he signed a six-year, $20.4 million contract, and would spend the next eight years in Jersey. Prior to the 2012 Playoffs, Zubrus lost in the first round three consecutive times as a Devil (2008, 2009, and 2010). When the 2012 postseason rolled around, Zubrus took his game to a higher level.

In the 2011-12 season, at the age of 33, Dainius Zubrus saw more ice time than any season he’d played in since leaving the Washington Capitals in 2006-07. At 6’5″, Zubrus wreaked havoc for the Devils on both the power play and penalty kill. Seven of his 17 goals that regular season came on special teams, meaning he scored only 10 at even-strength. Despite the low totals, Zubrus finished his chances at an efficient 15.6 percent clip.

In the 2012 Playoffs, Dainius Zubrus became a tone-setter for the New Jersey Devils. He scored three goals and seven assists, and laid 85 hits in just 24 games.

Zubrus had one goal and one assist in the Devils’ first game of the 2012 Playoffs, against the Florida Panthers. Next, he had two assists in Game Two against the Philadelphia Flyers after the Devils were down 1-0 in that series. Then, he had two goals in Game Four to put the Flyers on the ropes with a 3-1 deficit. Zubrus assisted on one more in Game Five and sent the Flyers home for good.

The rest of Zubrus’ 2012 postseason performance was non-descript, but he did assist on Ilya Kovalchuk’s power-play goal in Game 6 against the New York Rangers to put the good guys up 2-0. He also assisted on Patrik Elias’ goal to open the scoring in an important Game 4 against the Los Angeles Kings to help avoid getting swept.

Dainius Zubrus remained with the New Jersey Devils until 2015, when he was bought out of the last year of the three-year extension he signed in 2013. Zubrus tried out for the St. Louis Blues and was released, but was able to reunite with Pete DeBoer in San Jose with the Sharks for the 2015-16 season. The Sharks reached the Stanley Cup Final that year but were ultimately defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Zubrus retired in the 2016 offseason and resides in Miami, Florida. In 2018, Zubrus was unanimously elected as President of Lithuania’s national ice hockey federation Hockey Lietuva. As of this writing, that role now belongs to fellow Lithuanian and ex-NHLer Darius Kasparaitis.