5 best Russian players to ever grace the NHL ft. Alex Ovechkin

5 best Russian players to ever grace the NHL ft. Alex Ovechkin
5 best Russian players to ever grace the NHL ft. Alex Ovechkin

Ice hockey was primarily known as a Canadian sport, with its roots deep in their blood, but the NHL has significantly changed in recent years.

The NHL has been blessed with some of the best hockey talents across the globe, particularly from Russia. The influence of Russian players on the competitive ice of the National Hockey League has grown significantly over the years.

With their immense talent, a blend of exceptional stickhandling abilities, coupled with lightning-fast skating (and a unique way to slot the puck into the back of the net), Russian players have significantly contributed to reshaping the dynamics of the league.

These Russian hockey stars have not only mesmerized fans, teammates, and opponents alike but have also injected a great influence from the region into the game. On that note, here are the five best Russian players to ever grace the NHL:

#5, Alexei Kovalev (1993-2013)


Alexei Kovalev was regarded as one of the most skillful players of his era and whenever he had the puck, it was always a pleasure to watch him skate.

He was drafted 15th overall by the New York Rangers in 1991, and spent nine years with the Blue Shirts. He played a crucial role in helping the Rangers lift their fourth Stanley Cup in 1994.

Kovalev had an illustrious 19-year career. He played 1,1316 games, recording 1,029 points on 430 goals and 599 assists, making him the fifth all-time Russian leading goal scorer in the NHL.

#4, Pavel Bure (1992-2003)


Pavel Bure was known as "The Russian Rocket" due to his lightning-fast speed, which was impossible to match back in his era. He was picked sixth overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1989 draft.

Bure spent 12 years in the league and scored 60 goals twice and more than 50. Overall, "The Russian Rocket" played 702 career games, scoring 779 points on an impressive 437 goals and 342 assists. In 2012, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

#3, Alexander Mogilny (1990-2006)


Alexander Mogilny was the full package of a skater; be it speed, skills, or quickness, he had it all. He was drafted 89th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1988.

He played in the league for 16 seasons, scoring 76 goals once in 1992-93. He also won the Stanley Cup in 2000 while playing for the New Jersey Devils. Mogilny ranks as the fourth all-time leading Russian goalscorer in the league with 1,032 points (473 goals, 559 assists).

If his career had not been marred with injuries, his numbers would've been much higher.

#2, Sergei Fedorov (1991-2009)


Sergei Federov was one of the most versatile players ever and was comfortable in any position. He was drafted 74th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in 1989 and won three Stanley Cups with them.

Federov was also the first Russian player in the league to score 1,000 points. He spent 18 seasons in the league, accumulating 1,179 points ( 483 goals, 696 assists), ranking him as the third all-time Russian goalscorer in the NHL.

In 2016, Federov was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

#1, Alex Ovechkin (2006 - Present)


There is no denying the fact that Alex Ovechkin is the greatest Russian player ever and one of the best in NHL history. "The Great Eight" was drafted first overall by the Washington Capitals in 2004, and has been with the franchise ever since.

Some of the attributes that make Ovi great are his skills, toughness, and offensive prowess. He's won numerous awards and trophies, including the Hart Trophy (3), Maurice Richard Trophy (9), Conn Smythe, and the Stanley Cup in the same year (2017).

Ovechkin is the all-time leading Russian goalscorer in the league. He has played 18 seasons in the league, scoring 1,484 points (822 goals, 663 assists) in 1,347 games. With 822 goals under his belt, Ovechkin is 72 goals shy of breaking Wayne Gretzky's NHL record of 894 goals.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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