Patrik Elias doesn’t think his career is winding down

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Patrik Elias just signed a three-year deal with the New Jersey Devils, so the 37-year-old forward isn’t hanging up his skates any time soon. But if you think this is the last NHL contract he’ll ever sign, well, he’s hoping to surprise you.

“I said seven years ago that this would be my last contract, but I can still play,” Elias told the Star-Ledger. “Obviously a lot can change in three years.

“As long as I’m healthy and I’m enjoying hockey probably even more than my first few years, I’ll be a valuable player to some team. Whether it’s with the Devils for two more years or with someone else.”

As Elias said, a lot can change in three years, but he’s certainly still able to put up big numbers. He had 78 points in 81 games in 2011-12 and while the Devils struggled in the lockout-shortened season, he led the team with 36 points in 48 games.

The Devils are looking to bounce back after that disappointing campaign. They’ve only made the playoffs once in three years, but New Jersey reached the Stanley Cup Final in that span. The Devils also acquired Cory Schneider to bring some long-term clarity to their goaltending situation.

“I think it was a great move, one of the best moves I’ve seen during my career here,” Elias said. “Everybody was wondering what was going to happen when Marty (Brodeur) is done.”

That should help Elias’ later years with the Devils be competitive ones.