Russian NHL Hockey Players to Watch

With the NHL season underway, we take a look at some of the top Russian players in the league to keep an eye on.

Alexander Ovechkin

Alexander Ovechkin is a Russian professional ice hockey player and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is considered one of the greatest Hockey Players of all time.

Pavel Datsyuk

Pavel Datsyuk, often called “The Magic Man,” is one of the NHL’s top scoring forwards and has been a mainstay on the Detroit Red Wings since he was drafted in the sixth round in 1998.

Born in Sverdlovsk, Russia, Datsyuk began his professional career with Russian team Traktor Chelyabinsk before making the jump to the NHL. He quickly became one of the league’s most dangerous offensive players using his remarkable puck-handling skills and vision to create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates.

A three-time Stanley Cup winner with the Red Wings (2002, 2008, 2009), Datsyuk has also won four Lady Byng Memorial Trophies as the NHL’s most gentlemanly player. He is a four-time Olympian for Russia and has won two gold medals (2002, 2012) and two silver medals (1998, 2006).

Now in his 17th NHL season Datsyuk continues to be one of the league’s most exciting players to watch. His skill and artistry on the ice make him a true crowd pleaser, and his professionalism and sportsmanship are an example for all young players to aspire to.

Evgeni Malkin

Malkin was the second overall pick in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and has gone on to become one of the most exciting players in the league. A strong offensive player Malkin is a former Calder Memorial Trophy winner as NHL Rookie of the Year and has been a two-time Art Ross Trophy winner as the league’s leading scorer. He is also a two-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner as the league’s leading goal-scorer and has been named to five NHL All-Star Teams. Malkin has helped lead the Penguins to three Stanley Cup Finals, winning two Championships in 2009 and 2016.

Sergei Bobrovsky

Sergei Bobrovsky is a Russian professional Ice Hockey goaltender for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the second round, 45th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft with whom he played two seasons.

Vladimir Tarasenko

As one of the Top Players in the NHL, Vladimir Tarasenko is definitely a player to watch. Originally from Russia, Tarasenko began his hockey career with HC Sibir Novosibirsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He later joined the St. Louis Blues where he quickly became one of the team’s most important players. In 2017, he was named to the NHL All-Star team

Tarasenko is known for his great offensive skills, including his powerful shot and skating ability. He also has good size and strength, which makes him difficult to defend against. With Russia set to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics Tarasenko will be one of the team’s Key Players and will be someone to watch closely.

Andrei Markov

Andrei Markov is a defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens He was drafted 162nd overall by the Canadiens in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft He is a three-time NHL All-Star

Born: December 20, 1978 (age 38), Voskresensk, Russia
Height: 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Left
NHL team Montreal Canadiens

Artemi Panarin

Artemi Panarin is a Russian professional Ice hockey player currently playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round, with the 52nd overall pick, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft Panarin won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie for 2015–16.

Nikita Kucherov

Nikita Kucherov is a Russian professional ice hockey right winger for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected 58th overall by the Lightning in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft Kucherov helped lead the Lightning to the Stanley Cup in 2020.

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Evgeny Kuznetsov is a Russian professional ice hockey player for the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected by the Capitals in the first round, 26th overall, in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft Kuznetsov is known for his playmaking abilities and is considered one of the best passers in the NHL.

Ilya Kovalchuk

Ilya Kovalchuk is a Russian professional ice hockey winger who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Atlanta Thrashers and the New Jersey Devils He was the first overall pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers Kovalchuk is a two-time 50-goal scorer and was named All-Star game MVP in 2015.

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