Where Are They Now? Mariusz Czerkawski
Today we look back at an individual who was nothing but a consistent scorer and a fan favorite during his 6 seasons on Long Island. Mariusz Czerkawski was part of the New York Islanders from 1997-2002 and then again during the 2003-2004 season. He played as a winger during his career, overall he spent 12 seasons in the NHL playing for the Islanders, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Czerkawski also spent two seasons playing overseas in Switzerland. He is the first person born and trained in Poland to play in the NHL.
Mariusz Czerkawski was drafted in 1991 by the Bruins in the 5th round. He didn’t make his NHL debut until the 1993-1994 season playing for the Bruins. He spent 3 seasons in Boston before a trade to the Edmonton Oilers in 1996. He then was dealt to the Islanders almost two years later and after a few years of movement, Czerkawski found a home on Long Island. He had some of his best seasons as a member of the Islanders despite the struggles from the team overall. In the 1999-2000 season, his best season in the NHL saw a career high in goals, assists, and points (35 goals, 35 assists for 70 points). That year also saw his only appearance in the NHL All-Star Game. Czerkawski was by far a fan favorite and a player I always had respect for when watching Islanders games during those years. He stayed with the Islanders until 2002 and was dealt to the Canadiens, he later returned to the Islanders in 2003 for one more season. After the NHL lockout in 2005, he opted not to return to Long Island and spent the remainder of his career playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs and then finishing where it all began playing his final season for the Bruins in 2006. He retired from professional hockey in 2009 after playing overseas. (Photo Credit: Flickr).
For his career, Czerkawski played in 745 career NHL games scoring 215 goals and 220 assists. He also played in 42 playoff games scoring 8 goals, 7 assists. Today Czerkawski is happily married to his 2nd wife Emilia and the couple has a son Iwo. He also has a daughter Julia from a previous marriage in the mid 1990’s. Czerkawski is also on Twitter @PrinceMariuz and is a very active golfer in his post hockey career while living in Poland. (Photo Credit: Flickr)