20. Alexei Zhitnik

20. Alexei Zhitnik

Since the Soviet Union has not existed for decades, the record for most games played by a Soviet-born Defenseman (1,085) will never be broken.  Alexei Zhitnik is that record holder, and 712 of those games were as a Buffalo Sabre.

Zhitnik was part of a seven-player trade in 1995 that brought him to Buffalo, and he remained a solid two-way blueliner, though he never equaled the 52 Points he had with Los Angeles in 1993-94.  As a Sabre, he did have six 30-plus Point years and was working the power play for the team.  Zhitnik also focused more on his end of the ice, and his play was rewarded with two trips to NHL All-Star Game.  

He signed with the New York Islanders as a Free Agent in 1995, and Zhitnik ended his Sabres run with 289 Points.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Defence
  • Acquired: Traded from the Los Angeles Kings with Robb Stauber, Charlie Huddy, and Los Angeles' 1995 5th Round Pick (Marian Menhart) for Phillippe Boucher, Denis Tsygurov, and Grant Fuhr 2/14/95.
  • Departed: Signed as a Free Agent by the New York Islanders 8/2/05.
  • Games Played: 712
  • Notable Statistics:

    55 Goals
    234 Assists 
    289 Points 
    822 PIM 
    .41 PPG 
    -33 Plus/Minus 
    53.7 Point Shares 
    27 Points in 70 Playoff Games

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    All-Star (1999 & 2002)

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