Downtown Sports Network

NHL

NHL: Breaking Down the Top 10 Russian Born Hockey Players of All Time

sportingnews.com

As COVID-19 continues, Vinnie and I collaborated on another article to create the Top 10 Russian born hockey players of all time. These lists were clearly not easy to make, as there are many talented hockey players who were born and raised in Russia, but many did not play in the NHL. Our picks are players who have played in the NHL. Time to get to the lists.

Ethan’s #10. Evgeni Nabokov

Career Stats: 353 (W), 227 (L), 2.44 GAA, .911 SV%, 59 (SO)

Nabokov goes down as one of the best Russian goalies to play in the NHL. The 6 foot, 202 pound goaltender was drafted 219th overall by the San Jose Sharks in 1994. It took Nabokov quite a while to get into the NHL, but he played 11 games in the 1999-2000 season where he went 2-2-1 with a .910 SV% and a 2.17 GAA. Bouncing between the NHL and a few other leagues for a couple years, Nabokov made his way back to the league where he began to put up very good numbers. Nabokov collected 3 consecutive 40+ win seasons between 2007-2010 with the Sharks, and then later went on to play with the New York Islanders for 3 seasons, before finishing up his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014-15. He appeared in 2 All Star games, won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2001, and also collected a Gold Medal at the 2008 World Championships proving that he is Top 10 worthy.

Vinnie’s #10. Alexei Yashin

Career Stats: 850 GP, 337 goals, 444 assists, 781 points

Yashin was drafted 2nd overall in the 1st round to the Ottawa Senators. He spent several years in the Russian super league, and played 12 years in the NHL. He served as a captain for both the Ottawa Senators and New York Islanders. Known for his tremendous leadership, Yashin scored the crucial overtime goal leading the Senators to their first ever playoff series win against the Devils.

 

Ethan’s #9. Sergei Gonchar

Career Stats: 1,301 GP, 220 goals, 591 assists, 811 points

Sergei Gonchar was drafted 14th overall by the Washington Capitals in 1992. He became the first ever Russian-born player to notch 20+ goals as a defenseman. Gonchar spent time with 5 different NHL teams, and collected 1 Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. A great career for sure, and his amazing accomplishments have landed him the #9 spot on my list.

Vinnie’s #9. Sergei Gonchar

Career Stats: 1301 GP, 220 goals, 591 assists, 811 points

Gonchar was the first ever Russian defenseman to crack 20+ goals in the regular season. He spent time with multiple teams, but made the biggest impact with Pittsburgh Penguins proving to be a crucial piece to them winning the Stanley Cup. He was a force to be reckon with on both sides of the puck.

 

Ethan’s #8. Pavel Bure

Career Stats: 702 GP, 437 goals, 342 assists, 779 points

Bure was drafted 113th overall in 1989 by the Vancouver Canucks. He made his first NHL appearance during the 1991-92 season with the Canucks. Pavel Bure was also known as “The Russian Rocket” due to the speed he brought to his game. Bure was a 7-time All Star, and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012 for the amazing career he had.

Vinnie’s #8. Ilya Kovalchuk

Career Stats: 926 GP, 443 goals, 433 assists, 876 points

Kovalchuk was the first ever Russian born player to be taken 1st overall. He was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers. He is most known for leaving the New Jersey Devils after a phenomenal Stanley Cup run and joining the KHL. Since then, Kovalchuk has recently made a return to the NHL, and currently plays with his Olympic teammate and fellow Russian Alex Ovechkin.

 

Ethan’s #7. Pavel Datsyuk

Career Stats: 953 GP, 314 goals, 604 assists, 918 points

Pavel Datsyuk spent his whole NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings. Along the way, Datsyuk used his unbelievable skill to help the Red Wings raise 2 Stanley Cups. Datsyuk also won 3 consecutive Selke Trophies. Since retiring from the NHL, Datsyuk returned to the KHL where he still plays today.

Vinnie’s #7. Pavel Bure

Career Stats: 702 GP, 437 goals, 342 assists, 779 points

Pavel “The Russian Rocket” Bure earned his nickname for being unbelievably fast and explosive on the ice. Drafted in 1991, Bure didn’t take long to get adjusted as he made his first Stanley Cup Final appearance against the New York Rangers where he notably was shut down by Mike Richter on a penalty shot.

 

Ethan’s #6. Ilya Kovalchuk

Career Stats: 926 GP, 443 goals, 433 assists, 876 points

Ilya Kovalchuk is well known as being the first ever Russian born player to get drafted 1st overall. Being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 2001 draft. After 8 seasons with the Thrashers, Kovalchuk joined the New Jersey Devils. A fews seasons later during a deep Devils playoff run, Kovalchuk left the Devils to play in the KHL. He has returned to the NHL where he plays for the Washington Capitals. Kovalchuk is currently the NHL Record Holder for most shootout goals in a season (11).

Vinnie’s #6. Pavel Datsyuk

Career Stats: 953 GP, 314 goals, 604 assists, 918 points

Pavel Datsyuk played on a dominant Red Wings team and was one of the more key pieces to the teams success. When you think of Pavel Datsyuk, you most likely think of 2 things, one of the best pair of hands the league has ever seen, and one of the best 2 way forwards the league has ever seen winning 3 consecutive Selke Trophies. He’s since retired from the NHL and is now a member of the KHL.

 

Ethan’s #5. Alexei Kovalev

Career Stats: 1,316 GP, 430 goals, 599 assists, 1,029 points

Kovalev was drafted 15th overall by the New York Rangers in 1991. He helped the Rangers raise the Stanley Cup in 1994. Kovalev was selected to 3 All Star games, where he won the MVP award in 2009. After playing with the Rangers, Kovalev went on to play with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, and Florida Panthers before retiring from the NHL in 2013. Kovalev is now the sports director for EHC Visp of the Swiss League.

Vinnie’s #5. Alexei Kovalev

Career Stats: 1316 GP, 430 goals, 599 assists, 1,029 points

Kovalev was a crucial part of the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup victory. Known for his hands, and his wrist shot, Kovalev was 3rd in points for the Rangers during that cup run, and is currently 5th overall for points among Russian NHL players former and present.

 

Ethan’s #4. Alexander Mogilny

Career Stats: 990 GP, 473 goals, 559 assists, 1,032 points

Mogilny was selected 89th overall in 1988 with the Buffalo Sabres. The 6-time All Star is known across the hockey world for scoring 76 goals with the Sabres during the 1992-93 season. He went on to raise the Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2000. Mogilny also collected the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2003, and was inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in 2011.

Vinnie’s #4. Alexander Mogilny

Career Stats: 990 GP, 473 goals, 559 assists, 1,032 points

Mogilny was a goal scoring machine notching 76 goals in the 1992-93 season with the Buffalo Sabres, and 55 goals with the Vancouver Canucks in the 95-96 season. He won his first and only Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils, and is 4th overall in scoring among Russian NHL players.

 

Ethan’s #3. Evgeni Malkin

Career Stats: 907 GP, 416 goals, 660 assists, 1,076 points

Evgeni Malkin, also nicknamed “Geno”, was drafted 2nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2004 where he has spent his whole NHL career. Malkin is known for his 3-100+ point seasons with the Penguins. Geno has raised 3 Stanley Cups, the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy 4 times, the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy, and has been awarded the Ted Lindsay Award twice. Malkin is still looking to build on a phenomenal resume, and is still part of the Penguins today.

Vinnie’s #3. Evgeni Malkin

Career Stats: 907 GP, 416 goals, 660 assists, 1,076 points

Evgeni Malkin has spent just about his entire career playing with Sidney Crosby, the duo has often been called the “2 Headed Monster”, but Malkin has shined most when stepping up as the leader when Crosby has been injured. In the 2011-2012 season, he had his first 50 goal season and has had 3-100+ point seasons. He’s won 3 Stanley Cups with the Penguins, and aims for a few more in the future.

 

Ethan’s #2. Sergei Fedorov

Career Stats: 1,248 GP, 483 goals, 696 assists, 1,179 points

Fedorov was drafted 74th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1989. His career has been nothing short of stellar. The Center/Defenseman has raised 3 Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, along with the Presidents Trophy 3 times, the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Selke Trophy, and was awarded the Lester B. Pearson award in 1994. Federov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015.

Vinnie’s #2. Sergei Fedorov

Career Stats: 1,248 GP, 483 goals, 696 assists, 1,179 points

Fedorov is one of the most well rounded Russian hockey players to ever play the game. Between his ability to create scoring chances, his shot, his skating ability or his ability to put the puck in the back of the net. He was incredibly strong and was quoted by several legends to be “impossible to push off the puck”. He’s won 3 Stanley Cups and has added 2 Selke Trophies, a Ted Lindsay award, and won the Hart in the 1993-94 season.

 

Ethan’s Honorable Mentions:

-Sergei Zubov

-Nikita Kucherov

-Alexei Yashin

 

Vinnie’s Honorable Mentions:

-Nikita Kucherov

-Artemi Panarin

-Sergei Zubov

 

Ethan’s #1. Alexander Ovechkin

Career Stats: 1,152 GP, 706 goals, 572 assists, 1,278 points

Alexander Ovechkin is one of the best players to lace up the (yellow) skates. Drafted 1st overall in 2004 by the Washington Capitals, “Ovi” has had quite the career. He has tallied 50+ goals in 8 seasons, and is known for his dominant one-timer. Ovechkin has collected 8 Richard Trophies, 3 Ted Lindsay Awards, 1 Art Ross Trophy, 3 Hart Trophies, 1 Conn Smythe, and 1 Stanley Cup that he finally got to raise during the 2017-18 season. Ovi is currently the captain of the Washington Capitals, and still looks to build on his historic career.

Vinnie’s #1. Alexander Ovechkin

Career Stats: 1,152 GP, 706 goals, 572 assists, 1,278 points

No surprise here, Alexander Ovechkin is one of if not THE greatest goal scorer to ever play the game. Since entering the league, the “Great 8” has put up 8-50+ goal seasons and has shown no sign whatsoever of slowing down. There were always talks that Ovi’s legacy would be damaged due to him never winning a Stanley Cup, but those talks have vanished due to him finally snagging one during the 2017-2018 season. Adding to his impressive resume, Ovechkin has managed to secure 8 Rocket Richard trophies, 1 Art Ross trophy, 3 Ted Lindsay Awards, 3 Hart Trophies, and the Conn Smythe for his dominant playoff performance. He is undoubtably and unarguably, the best Russian NHL player to ever play the game.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top
WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com