13 seasons, 842 regular season games, 119 playoff games, and three different teams. For a seventh round pick, that is a long career to carve out. And that is what Justin Braun was able to do. After finishing his 13th season in the NHL and as a part of the Flyers, Braun has officially announced his retirement from the NHL.
Braun was emotional when he played the final game of the season. His family was in the locker room prior and read the starting lineup. His father was behind the bench for a period. And he was given a solo lap before the game to take everything in.
"”Just being a good guy to have around. I try to have fun and make the most of it,” Braun said about what he hopes his legacy will be. “Just enjoy ever day because one day they’ll all be standing here on their last day. It comes for all of us.”"
Braun was drafted in the seventh round by the San Jose Sharks in 2007. He would make his debut in 2010, appearing in 28 games and scoring his first career NHL goal against the Ottawa Senators.
As a defensive defenseman, Braun scored 34 goals and registered 199 points. Though if you ask his Flyers teammates, he should’ve been credited with his 200th point in their final game. He also appeared in 119 post season games, where he did score two goals and grab 16 total points. Most of those came with the Sharks.
His best season, statistically, came in 2017-18 where he scored a career high five goals and 33 points. He would tie his high in goals in his third season with the Flyers.
After nine seasons in San Jose, Braun was traded to the Flyers before the 2019-20 season. He would spent four combined seasons with the team, with a short stint with the Rangers after the 2022 trade deadline. He would then re-sign with the Flyers prior to this season.
"”My first ever d-partner in the NHL, I’ll never forget,” Cam York said during exit interviews. “Just a great guy, you can’t say enough about him. The amount of respect I have for him and what he’s done in this league and what he’s done here for us. It’s pretty cool to see and I’m just lucky to say I played with him.”"
Braun was well known as a reliable, stay at home defenseman. He wasn’t going to do anything flashy, but you never necessarily needed to worry about him either. He currently ranks third overall in games played among defensemen from the 2007 Draft. Only Kevin Shattenkirk and Ryan McDonagh have appeared in more games.