NHL Players

Top 10 All Time Hockey Players From Ukraine

By Biraj Khanal / 8 January 2024 11:08 AM

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Ukraine's ice hockey heart beats strong, echoing with legends like Almetov's goals, Khristich's Stanley Cup run, and Zhitnik's record-breaking defense.

NHL stars like Fedotenko shine, while young talents like Yakushyn rise. Ukraine, steeped in ice hockey passion, has birthed numerous talented players across history.

From Babchuk's towering presence to the grit of Varlamov, Ukrainian hockey's legacy grows, inspiring future generations to carve their mark on the ice.

1. Peter Bondra

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Peter Bondra is a Ukrainian-born Slovak former professional ice hockey player. He played 17 seasons in the NHL, most notably for the Washington Capitals.

He scored 472 goals in 961 games for the Capitals, ranking second on the team's all-time scoring list behind Alex Ovechkin.

Bondra played for several other teams during his career, including the Ottawa Senators, Atlanta Thrashers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Phoenix Coyotes. 

He is a member of the Slovak Hockey Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Washington Capitals Hall of Tradition in 2010.

2. Dmitri Khristich

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Dmitri Khristich played 811 games in the NHL for the Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins, and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Khristich made his NHL debut for the Capitals in the 1990–91 season scoring 26 goals and 56 points in his rookie season.

He went on to play for eight seasons, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1998. In his 850 NHL games, he scored 337 goals and provided 444 assists totaling 781 points.

He was inducted into the Ukrainian Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

3. Ruslan Fedotenko

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Ruslan Fedotenko is a retired Ukrainian ice hockey player who played for several NHL teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and New York Islanders.

He impressed with his scoring and powerful slap shot during his NHL debut in the 2000-2001 season.

During his 17-year career, Ruslan played for five NHL teams, scoring 173 goals and registering 193 assists in 863 games.

Fedotenko was a vital part of the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup victories in 2004 and 2005, contributing consistently throughout the playoffs.

His physical presence and defensive awareness made him a valuable asset to any team.

Ruslan remains a respected figure in the hockey community, known for his dedication, work ethic, and powerful slap shot.

4. Alexei Ponikarvosky

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Alexei Ponikarovsky, a Ukrainian-Canadian former professional ice hockey left winger, played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, and Winnipeg Jets.

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, in 1980, he was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Ponikarovsky was known for his hard work, determination, and physical play, and was a career-high 25 goals.

Throughout his NHL tenure, he played 1085 games in total scoring 96 goals and 375 assists totaling 471 points.

He also played for the Ukrainian national team at the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 2010 World Championships. He won a bronze medal with Ukraine at the 2002 World Championships.

5. Alexei Zhitnik

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Alexei Zhitnik is a Ukrainian-Russian former professional ice hockey defenseman who played for 17 seasons in the National Hockey League.

He held the record for most games played by a Soviet-born defenseman in the NHL until Ivan Provorov surpassed it in 2023.

Zhitnik played for notable teams like the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Atlanta Thrashers, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Islanders.

His number 13 was retired by Sokil Kyiv following his contributions to the field of ice hockey, 

Alexei also represented Ukraine during two NHL All-Star Games and a Stanley Cup Finals appearance with the Kings in 1993 in his career.

6. Alexander Godynyuk

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Oleksandr Olehovych Hodyniuk, commonly known as Alexander Godynyuk, is a Ukrainian former professional ice hockey defenseman drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

He played parts of five seasons in the NHL between 1990 and 1996 primarily featuring for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.

Throughout the NHL, he recorded 10 goals and 39 assists in 223 games. Besides the NHL, he has also played in various minor leagues after leaving the NHL.

Godynyuk also has represented Ukraine internationally at the 2002 World Championships.

7. Alexander Almeto

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Ukrainian sharpshooter Alexander Almetov (1940-1992) redefined hockey in the USSR. From Kyiv to CSKA Moscow, his powerful slapshot carved 262 goals, a club record standing tall.

Five national titles, Olympic gold (1964), five World Championships, and three European crowns adorned his career.

He became an Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR in 1963 and is considered the greatest Soviet hockey player of all time.

A captain, legend, and Hall of Famer, Almetov's #11 forever echoes in CSKA history. Sadly, gone too soon, but his legacy on the ice remains indelible.

8. Igor Chibirev

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Igor Chibirev was a Ukrainian ice hockey center who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Hartford Whalers.

Chibirev was drafted by the Whalers in the 11th round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft.

From Kyiv to the Whalers, Igor Chibirev left his mark on the ice.

Speedy and skilled, his 7 goals and 12 assists for Hartford ignited flashes of brilliance.

Two seasons of dazzling moves, defensive grit, and a World Championship with Ukraine cemented his legacy.

Though brief, Chibirev's NHL stint etched his name as a Ukrainian hockey legend, forever enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

9. Sergei Varlamov

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This Ukrainian forward carved his NHL path through the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames (1992-1997).

Renowned for his strength, Varlamov's defense and powerful slapshot earned him respect across the league.

Representing Ukraine at the 2002 Winter Olympics and multiple World Championships, he wore his national colors with distinction.

A KHL veteran, Varlamov continued to dominate on the ice after his NHL stint, solidifying his status as a Ukrainian hockey legend.

Varlamov left his mark as a powerful and dedicated player, both in the NHL and for his homeland.

10. Anton Babchuk

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Anton Babchuk carved out a respectable career spanning the NHL, KHL, and international competition. 

Starting in his hometown team Sokil Kyiv, Babchuk's talent propelled him to the 2002 NHL Draft, where he was picked 21st overall by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Though he played for seven different teams (Chicago, Carolina, Calgary, Atlant Moscow Oblast), Babchuk found his longest stints with the Hurricanes and Flames, contributing to their defensive efforts.

Despite not having his name etched, Babchuk experienced the thrill of a championship run with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. He scored 442 points in 289 NHL games.

Babchuk donned the national colors at the 2002 Winter Olympics and several World Championships, leaving his mark on international hockey.

He also won a silver medal with the Ukrainian national team at the 2004 World Championships

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