The Russian Legacy: From Khatulev to Malkin

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Getting Evgeni Malkin into a Penguins uniform might prove to be the most significant transaction of Ray Shero's first offseason. Malkin joins a prestigious line of imports from Russia over the past quarter century.

1975-76

Viktor Khatulev LW/D, Flyers

First Soviet-trained player drafted by NHL. Didn't find out he was drafted until 1978 and never played in NHL.

1988-89

Sergei Priakhin RW, Flames

First Soviet-trained player permitted to join an NHL club. Played only 46 games scoring 11 points in NHL career that lasted until 1990-91 season.

1989-90

Vyacheslav Fetisov D, Devils

Igor Larionov C, Canucks

First true Soviet stars to fight for opportunity to play in the NHL. Larionov won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 1997, '98 and 2002; Fetisov with Detroit in 1997 and '98. Formed first All-Russian lineup with Sergei Federov, Vyacheslav Kozlov and Vladimir Konstantinov in 1996-97 in Detroit.

Alexander Mogilny RW, Sabres

Fled to North America immediately after 1989 world championships. Became first Russian to lead the NHL in goals and reach 100 points in 1992-93 and first European to captain an NHL team in 1993-94. One of two Russians with 1,000 career NHL points with 1,032.

1990-91

Sergei Fedorov C, Red Wings

Defected while at Goodwill Games in Seattle in 1990. In 1993-94, became first Soviet-trained player to win Hart Trophy (NHL MVP), Selke Trophy (top defensive forward) and Pearson Trophy (NHLPA MVP). All-time leading NHL career scorer among Russians with 1,063 points.

Dmitri Khristich RW, Capitals

Mikhail Tatarinov D, Capitals

Were the first Soviets in their 20s legally permitted to join an NHL club.

1991-92

Arturs Irbe G, Sharks

First Soviet-trained goaltender to play in NHL.

Valeri Kamensky LW, Nordiques

Along with defenseman Alexei Gusarov, became the first Russian to win the Stanley Cup, an IIHF world title and Olympic gold.

Sergei Nemchinov C, Rangers

Along with Alexander Karpovtsev, Alexei Kovalev and Sergei Zubov, became first Russians to get their names on the Stanley Cup when the Rangers won in 1994.

Igor Kravchuk D, Blackhawks

First Russian to play in a Stanley Cup final when Chicago lost to Penguins in 1992.

Dmitiri Mironov D, Maple Leafs

Following a trade for Larry Murphy prior to 1995-96, became first Russian Pittsburgh Penguin.

1992-93

Alexei Kovalev RW, Rangers

A talented shooter, he was the first Russian to be selected in the first round of the NHL entry draft in 1991. Had a career-high 95 points in 2000-01. It was good for fourth-best in the NHL that season. Spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins before being traded back to the New York Rangers.

1994-95

Sergei Gonchar D, Washington Capitals

Offensive defenseman was 14th overall pick of the 1992 NHL draft. Was top-scoring NHL defenseman in 2001-02 (59 points) and 2003-04 (58). Currently with the Penguins.

1995-96

Nikolai Khabibulin G, Winnipeg Jets

First true "franchise" Russian NHL goaltender, led Tampa Bay to Stanley Cup championship in 2003-04.

1997-98

Aleksey Morozov RW, Penguins

First of two Russians to be selected in the first round by the Penguins. After a career-best 50 points in 2003-04, returned to Russia to play with Kazan Ak-Bars.

2001-02

Ilya Kovalchuk LW, Atlanta Thrashers

Won the Richard Trophy in 2003-04 after scoring 41 goals. Led Atlanta in 2005-06 with 52 goals and 98 points.

2002-03

Nikolai Zherdev, RW, Columbus Blue Jackets

Ukranian was the fourth overall selection of 2003 draft the scored 54 points in 2005-06. Had threatened to play in Russian this season if NHL contract demands weren't met but signed a three-year deal on Thursday.

2003-04

NA

2005-06

Getting Evgeni Malkin into a Penguins uniform might prove to be the most significant transaction of Ray Shero's first offseason. Malkin joins a prestigious line of imports from Russia over the past quarter century.

Alexander Ovechkin LW, Washington Capitals

The top overall pick of the 2004 draft won the Calder Trophy after a rookie campaign that saw him score 52 goals and 106 points, the second and third highest totals, respectively, by a rookie.

2006-07

Evgeni Malkin C, Pittsburgh Penguins

The second overall pick in 2004 was forced to sneak away from his Russian team when officials in Russia and the NHL could not come together on a transfer agreement. Legal status still in limbo. Suffered shoulder injury in first preseason game.




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