Another member of the 1995 draft class has hung up his skates.
Aleksey Morozov, the former Pittsburgh Penguin taken 24th overall in ’95, has announced his retirement, according to Russian news outlet R-Sport. Morozov, 37, has been playing in Russia since the lockout-canceled 2004-05 campaign, but had previously spent seven seasons in Pittsburgh and briefly played alongside Mario Lemieux and Alexei Kovalev on the short-lived “KLM Line.”
A skilled winger, Morozov also gained notoriety as a Devils killer during his North American stint due to his scoring exploits against New Jersey. He scored 25 points in 30 career contests against the Devils — a significant total, given he only had 219 career points — many of which were scored against Martin Brodeur.
Here’s what Brodeur had to say about Morozov (per ESPN):
Dan Patrick: Who don’t you want to see coming at you on a breakaway? Maybe somebody that would surprise me?
Brodeur: Aleksey Morozov.
DP: Oh, well, he’s a good player.
MB: The kid’s got probably over 25 percent of his career goals on me. It’s unbelievable.
DP: What is it about him?
MB: I don’t know. If you figure it out, please tell me. When he shoots the puck, I never catch it really clean. When he’s going to make a pass, I think he’s shooting. When he’s shooting, I think he’s making a pass. The guy’s in my kitchen. He’s in my head. I can’t get rid of him.
Morozov spent last season with CSKA Moscow of the KHL, scoring 23 points in 38 games. As mentioned above, he’s the second player from the ’95 Draft class to retire recently — last week, goalie J.S. Giguere (taken 13th overall) announced his playing career was finished.