David Krejci Moments: Center Returns To Bruins After Year In Czech Republic

Krejci made his triumphant return official in August


January 19

David Krejci reached the 1,000-game milestone earlier this week as a member of the Bruins. To honor the accomplishment, we’re taking a look back at some of his career moments in Boston. Next up: returning to the Bruins after spending a year in Czech Republic.

David Krejci shocked the Bruins world when he announced he would be returning to his native Czech Republic ahead of the 2021-22 NHL season.

He was a staple on Boston’s second line, an assist machine and played his best hockey when it came time for the playoffs. Krejci was respected among his peers and the void he left behind stretched far beyond the ice.

Krejci was drafted by the Bruins in the second round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and debuted with Boston in 2007. He went on to lead the playoffs in points in 2011 and 2013 — the former being the year he won his first Stanley Cup.

The 2021-22 Bruins struggled mightily without their alternate captain in the lineup. They did not have a clear-cut second-line center to fill the hole Krejci left behind. Charlie Coyle gave it a shot for a while, but he thrived as the third-line center. Erik Haula also saw time at center and filled in nicely at points, but, much like Coyle, he was better suited for the bottom six.

Boston finished the 2021-22 season going 51-26-5.

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After Boston was eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes, and with Krejci’s first season in Czech Republic over, rumors immediately started to swirl about whether Krejci would make a return to the only NHL team he ever knew.

The signs were there: He never committed to the Czech league after Year 1 (nor did he commit to returning to the NHL, for that matter) and just wanted to focus on what was in front of him. David Pastrnak also posted a video to his Instagram story asking Krejci if he was going to come back, to which Krejci just smirked.

The summer was filled with all sorts of speculation. Then, on Aug. 8, shortly after the Bruins announced Patrice Bergeron would return for a 19th season, a GIF of Krejci was tweeted from the official Twitter account and everyone knew what was next.

The announcement came and Krejci officially was back with the Bruins for season 16.

“I’m super excited to come back and can’t wait to start the new season,” Krejci told reporters during his video press conference. ” … Like I said, I’m really excited to get it going.”

Krejci, despite missing an entire year, reached the 1,000-game milestone Monday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers — something only five players before him had done with Boston. He also seamlessly slid back into the second-line center role.

There’s still half an NHL season to be played, and Krejci historically has played his best hockey in the playoffs. So, the best still could be yet to come.

Don’t miss “Krejci at 1,000” on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. ET, only on NESN. Presented by BuyaToyota.com, Toyota’s website for deals.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images
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