Veteran defenseman Justin Braun has officially announced his retirement from the NHL after 13 seasons, the NHL Alumni Association said today.
A seventh-round draft pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2007, Braun would go on to play over 800 games, 607 of which came in a Sharks uniform. Braun would spend nine seasons with the Sharks, where he established himself as a reliable stay-at-home defenseman. He was then traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2019, where he spent the next three seasons before a short stint with the New York Rangers in the 2021-22 season. However, Braun would return to Philadelphia to finish his career.
Over his 13-year career, Braun scored 199 points and played in over 100 playoff games with San Jose. He was known for his strong defensive play, physicality, and leadership qualities, which made him a valuable asset during his time in San Jose.
Braun would routinely average over 20 minutes per game in San Jose but saw a decreased role during his time in Philadelphia. Things evaporated for Braun this season, unfortunately, as he registered just two assists in 51 games and played under 15 minutes per game. With his role decreasing quickly, the writing was on the wall for the 36-year-old Minnesota product.
His best season undoubtedly came at the age of 30 in 2017-18, recording career highs in assists (28), points (33), average time on ice (21:20), and hits (143).
Despite his late selection, Braun currently ranks third in games played among defensemen from the 2007 draft, sitting only behind Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan McDonagh. He provided incredible value for the Sharks throughout his career and would likely go in the first round of most redrafts.