Set for his 1,000th game, Bouwmeester knows he’s been lucky to avoid major injury

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When the St. Louis Blues play the New York Rangers on Tuesday, it will mark the 1,000th game of Jay Bouwmeester‘s NHL career.

He’ll achieve the milestone at the age of 33. Taken third overall in the 2002 NHL Draft, his skating ability has always been lauded as his trademark quality. Well, he’s been durable, too.

On nine different occasions, including seven consecutively, Bouwmeester has played the full 82-game schedule, which isn’t easy to do when you’re playing an average of nearly 25 minutes per game throughout your career.

“Being healthy is a big thing. I’ve been lucky,” Bouwmeester told NHL.com.

“I haven’t had any major injuries that cause you lose to lose a big chunk of time during the season. Stuff happens that you can’t really control. I’ve been lucky with that. I think as you get older, as you play longer, you kind of realize what works for you, and what you need to do in the summers to prepare for the season and during the year. Everyone works out in the summertime now, but during the year you have to do a little bit more and just kind of take care of yourself a little bit better.”

Bouwmeester was drafted by the Florida Panthers. He was traded to the Flames at the 2009 draft, and then dealt to the Blues from Calgary prior to the 2013 trade deadline.

In 999 games, Bouwmeester has scored 81 goals and 377 points.

Meanwhile, the Blues have started the season with a 5-2-2 record, which puts them second in the Central Division.