EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils made Patrik Elias a wealthy man over the summer. One day before their season opener, they made him their leader.
Elias, who signed a seven-year, $42 million contract during the offseason, on Thursday was named team captain by the Devils.
A second-round pick in 1994, Elias becomes the Devil's seventh captain since the organization moved to New Jersey from Colorado in 1982. Scott Niedermayer was the team's most recent captain in 2003-04, as the club operated with just assistant captains last season.
The 30-year-old Elias made his NHL debut with the Devils in 1995-96 and was a member of two of New Jersey's three Stanley Cup championship teams. He has collected 223 goals and 281 assists in 596 contests and holds the franchise record for most points in a season when he recorded 96 in 2000-01.
In 2005-06, the Czech registered 16 goals and 29 assists in 38 games, missing the first half of the campaign with hepatitis A.
The Devils begin the 2006-07 season Friday, when they visit the reigning Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes.