Height: 5' 11", Weight: 220 pounds
Born: 4.22.65 Toronto, Ontario
Died: 5.26.09 Toronto, Ontario
|How he arrived: Traded by the St. Louis Blues for Chris McAlpine amd Devils' 9th round pick in the
1999 E.D., 2.11.97
How he left: Traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Canucks' 5th round pick in the 1998 E.D., 2.5.98
|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise
Stats in bold signifies team leader.
The evolution of Zezel's career was similar to Steve Yzerman's in that he had went from a top scoring forward to what
the Devils had from him in a defensive specialist and good faceoff man.
His games with New Jersey were few, though. He played the balance of his tenure with the Albany River Rats. That
would be the first time he played in the AHL in his entire pro career. And he did very well while with the Rats, scoring
50 points in only 35 games.
Actually, the last time, too. His career ended only a season later while with the Canucks. He asked then-GM Brian
Burke to trade him to at least an East team, preferably either to the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Buffalo Sabres, so
that he could be close to his family. (His niece Jilliann was diagnosed with cancer around that time.) Burke did trade
him, but to the Anaheim Ducks. Rather than accept the trade, Zezel opted to retire.
Not long after (Within the next couple years.), he would be diagnosed with hemolytic anemia. It almost claimed his life
in 2001, but he made a full recovery then. He developed complications in 2009 that lead to chemo and removal of his
spleen. Not long after, he fell into a coma and was on life support until a couple days ago at the time I wrote this. His
family took him off of life support, and he would ultimately pass away.
|Entry Draft: 1983 Second Round Pick (41st overall) by the
|Playoff Statistics with the Franchise