Jakub Voracek retirement 42424

Jakub Voracek, who played 15 seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers, has retired from the NHL.

The 34-year-old forward did not play in the NHL this season. His last game came on Nov. 4, 2022, when he sustained a concussion while playing for the Blue Jackets at the 2022 NHL Global Series in Tampere, Finland, against the Colorado Avalanche.

Following the injury, Voracek said his chances of returning during the 2022-23 season were "very slim" but that he was not contemplating retirement.

"After talking to many people and many doctors, we came to the conclusion that as of right now, I'm not capable of coming back. I won't be coming back anytime soon," Voracek said in December 2022. "Obviously, I'm going to make my best efforts to do that (return), but it might be a long process, and as of now I don't see myself playing in the near future.

"I had a lot of head injuries in the past, and that's something I've got to think about and be smart about, and that's where I stand right now."

At the time, Voracek estimated that he had had "seven or eight" documented concussions during his playing career.

"As a player, and especially as a hockey player that is used to playing, you do everything in your power to get back on the ice, and sometimes, maybe especially when you're young, you miss that judgment," he said.

"I got hit a few times pretty badly, and over my concussion past I'm kind of worried if that would be the case (sustaining another one). Eventually, like, what's going to happen to me, if I would be able to even get up out of bed in the morning?"

Selected by Columbus with the No. 7 pick in the 2007 NHL Draft, Voracek had 806 points (223 goals, 583 assists) in 1,058 regular-season games, which ranks third in League history among Czechia-born players. Only Jaromir Jagr (1,921 points) and Patrik Elias (1,025) had more.

Voracek's best season came with the Flyers in 2014-15, when he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team after he finished second in the League in assists (59) and tied for fourth in points (81).

"Is there is a regret? No, no. I knew what I was doing and everything was up to me. So, I don't regret that," Voracek continued back in December 2022.

"I played over 1,000 games. I think it brought out that I was always a good guy in the locker room, trying to help out the others and give my experience to the other people. So, I don't regret a single thing, no."

NHL.com independent correspondent Craig Merz contributed to this report