Jaromir Jagr Becomes Oldest Goalscorer in Professional Hockey History

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

At 52, Jaromír Jágr is still playing professional hockey—and still scoring goals.

Jágr owns a team in his hometown in the Czech Republic, Rytíři Kladno, and also suits up for the club on a part-time basis. On Thursday, Jágr played his first game for the team in over two months after having traveled to Pittsburgh to have his jersey retired by the Penguins in February. And what did Jagr do immediately after stepping on the ice? Scored a goal of course. On his very first shift of the night, he redirected the puck into the net for the first goal of the game.

With the goal, Jágr became the oldest player to score a goal in a professional hockey game. He passed the great Gordie Howe, who was 52 years and nine days old when he scored for the Hartford Whalers in a playoff game in 1980. Jágr is 52 years, 63 days old.

Jágr is also the oldest person to play in a legitimate professional hockey game, according to an article on the Czech league’s website. Howe did appear in a game for the International Hockey League’s Detroit Vipers in 1997 at age 69, but he only played one shift. Jágr last played in the NHL in 2017 with the Calgary Flames at age 45.

Jágr’s team finished in last place in the Czech Extraliga (the country’s top league) this season, meaning it must face the winner of the second-tier league, VHK Vsetín, in a seven-game series to decide which club will play in the first division next season.

Kladno won the game, 7–2 to take a 2–0 series lead.

Dan Gartland


Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).