Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik is scheduled to play in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight against the St. Louis Blues. Orpik will become the 330th all-time player, 114th defenseman and 22nd active player to play in 1,000 NHL games.
The Capitals will hold a pre-game ceremony on Friday, Jan.18, prior to hosting the New York Islanders to honor the milestone. During the ceremony, Orpik will receive a special gift from the organization, the National Hockey League and his teammates. Capitals President Dick Patrick will join Orpik's wife, Erin, on the ice to honor Orpik.
This season, the 6'3", 219-pound defenseman has recorded three points (2g, 1a) in 17 games. Orpik leads Capitals defensemen in hits per game (2.9) and shorthanded time on ice per game (3:19). Over the last two seasons, 45.16 percent of Orpik's five-on-five ice time has been spent with first or second-year players (Christian Djoos, Madison Bowey, Jonas Siegenthaler). Since joining Washington at the start of the 2014-15 season, Orpik ranks first in hits (879) and second in blocked shots (614) among Capitals defensemen.
Orpik was selected by Pittsburgh in the first round, 18th overall, in the 2000 NHL Draft, and will become the seventh player from his draft class to appear in 1,000 regular-season games. The San Francisco native has registered 132 points (13g, 119a) in 703 career games with Pittsburgh and 56 points (4g, 52a) in 296 career games with Washington.
At 38 years and 110 days old, Orpik will become the 14th oldest player to play in his 1,000th career game. Since making his NHL debut on Dec. 10, 2002, Orpik ranks first among defensemen in hits (3,066) and second in blocked shots (1,856). Orpik's hit total will rank third among players with 1,000 career games (Zdeno Chara: 3,675; Dustin Brown: 3,295) since 1997-98. In addition to his 1,000 NHL career regular-season games, Orpik has appeared in 149 postseason games, which is the eighth-most among active players and second-most among active defensemen (Chara: 159). Orpik, a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, has recorded 24 career postseason points (3g, 21a), including an overtime game-winning goal in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals and the game-winning goal in Game 2 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. He is one of 20 American-born defensemen to win multiple Stanley Cups. Additionally, Orpik holds the distinction of recording the most hits (537) in playoff history.
Orpik has represented the United States at the Winter Olympics twice (2010, 2014), the World Championships (2006) and the World Junior Championships (2000). Orpik earned a silver medal with Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. He played three seasons at Boston College from 1998-01 and helped the Eagles win the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2001.