|Born||June 16, 1978 |
Elektrenai, Lithuanian, SSR, URS
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight||225 lb (102 kg; 16 st 1 lb)|
|San Jose Sharks|
New Jersey Devils
|National team||Template:Country data LTU &|
Template:Country data RUS
|NHL Draft||15th overall, 1996|
Dainius Zubrus (born Dainius Gintas Zubrus on June 16, 1978) is a Lithuanian professional ice hockey right winger and center currently playing for the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League (NHL).
He is the first Lithuanian to have played 1000 games in the NHL.
Early Playing Career
In the summer of 1989, Dainius moved to Kharkiv, Ukraine to train under Ivan Pravilov on the Druzhba-78 squad. He continued to develop his play there until the end of 1995. Just like Darius Kasparaitis, he trained with Aleksey Nikiforov.
Professional Playing Career
Dainius was drafted 15th overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers from the Caledon Canadians of the Metro Junior A Hockey League.
As of the 2006 draft, Dainius was the highest drafted Tier II Junior "A" player since the Canadian Junior A Hockey League's 1993 inception (since surpassed by Kyle Turris at 2007 NHL Entry Draft). Prior to being traded to Caledon, he played for the Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Junior A Hockey League.
On October 5, 1996 he made his NHL debut, scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers. In his rookie season, he helped the Flyers reach the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals.
On March 10, 1998, the Flyers traded Dainius to the Montreal Canadiens with a pair of draft picks for Mark Recchi. He registered his first career hat-trick on October 14, 2000, against the Chicago Blackhawks, and was traded by the Canadiens to the Washington Capitals along with Trevor Linden for Richard Zednik & Jan Bulis on March 13, 2001.
During the 2004-05 NHL lockout, Dainius decided to play abroad with Washington Capitals teammate Alexander Semin. He played 42 regular season games for HC Lada Togliatti, tallying 19 points on eight goals and 11 assists. He also appeared in ten playoff games while in the former Russian Superleague (RSL), scoring three goals and one assist.
Dainius returned to the Capitals the following 2005–06 season and posted a career-high 57 points playing alongside star rookie Alexander Ovechkin.
In the 2006–07 season, he continued his impressive form posting 52 points in 60 games before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres (along with Timo Helbling) for Jiri Novotny and a first round draft pick on February 27, 2007.
On July 3, 2007, Dainius signed a six-year, $20.4 million contract with the New Jersey Devils as a free agent.
On November 23, 2008, he had one of the best offensive games in Devils history. Zubrus tied a team record with four goals to help New Jersey win its season-high fourth straight game, 7–3 over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Four years later, Dainius got to his second Stanley Cup decision, losing the 2012 finals to the Los Angeles Kings.
On July 29, 2015, after 8 seasons with the Devils, he was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating the final year of his contract.
On October 27, 2015, it was announced that Dainius was invited to Professional Tryout (PTO) with the St. Louis Blues. However, on November 6, 2015, he was released from his Professional Tryout after Blues decided to sign Martin Havlat to a one-year deal.
On November 16, 2015, Dainius was invited to a professional tryout by the San Jose Sharks. Eight days later, he signed a contract with the Sharks, reuniting with former Devils coach Peter DeBoer. He got to his third Stanley Cup final with the Sharks.
|1995–96||Pembroke Lumber Kings||CJHL||28||19||13||32||73||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||13||25||38||38||5||0||1||1||8|
|2008–09||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||15||25||40||69||7||0||1||1||10|
|2009–10||New Jersey Devils||NHL||51||10||17||27||28||5||1||0||1||8|
|2010–11||New Jersey Devils||NHL||79||13||17||30||53||—||—||—||—||—|
|2011–12||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||17||27||44||34||24||3||7||10||18|
|2012–13||New Jersey Devils||NHL||22||2||7||9||12||—||—||—||—||—|
|2013–14||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||13||13||26||46||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||New Jersey Devils||NHL||74||4||6||10||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2015–16||San Jose Sharks||NHL||50||3||4||7||20||14||1||1||2||6|
Originally, Dainius had suited up for the Russian national team during the World Cup of Hockey in 2004, but since then, he has played internationally for Lithuania, most notably in the 2005 World Championships. He had told the press that, "Lithuania needs me more than Russia."
Because of the existence of the Soviet Union, players born during its time as a nation were able to choose to play for any of the newly formed countries after the breakup and even considered representing Ukraine due to his training there.
Dainius now plans to represent Lithuania in all of his future international hockey appearances.
Dainius is married to Canadian model Nathalie Sanschagrin and they have two children: a son named Thomas and a daughter named Emma.
He holds dual nationality and is a citizen of Lithuania and the United States.