Three Russians Drafted in First Round of 2012 NHL Draft

(courtesy of Getty)

For the first time since 2004, three Russians were selected in the first round of Friday’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh. Much speculation was made beforehand as to whether the Edmonton Oilers would trade their first pick having picked first the past two years. Any suspicion was quickly put to rest when GM Steve Tambellini announced 18-year-old Nail Yakupov’s name making him the third Russian to ever be picked first overall in draft history.
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Alexei Kovalev Becomes 3rd Russian to Score 1,000 Points in NHL


(Photo courtesy of Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

First it was Sergei Fedorov, a month later it was Alexander Mogilny, and tonight, well over six years since a Russian-born player reached the 1,000 career point plateau, Ottawa’s Alexei Kovalev joins an elite club. Kovalev scored a power-play goal midway through the first period(at exactly 10:00) to give the Senators the early lead. With the goal, assisted by fellow countryman Sergei Gonchar, Kovalev became the 76th NHL player to have his career points go into quadruple digits.

Kovalev fired a slap shot past Jonathon Quick after Gonchar’s shot bounced off a LA Kings defender for his sixth goal of the year. The shot was powerful enough to break his stick. Kovalev would add an assist on the game winning goal by Jason Spezza to earn the first star of the game. He becomes the second Senators player to eclipse 1,000 points with captain Daniel Alfredsson doing so exactly a month ago.
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Alexander Ovechkin named captain of Capitals

oviecaptain
(Courtesy of Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post )

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Washington Capitals announced Alexander Ovechkin would be the team’s newest captain after the departure of Chris Clark to Columbus.

Ovechkin becomes the team’s 14th captain and the first European-born one and will most likely remain captain until his contract expires in 2020-21. He becomes the third-youngest captain at 24 in the NHL behind Jason Toews, 21 and Sidney Crosby,22.

Ovechkin becomes the seventh Russian-born player to captain an NHL team joining the likes of Alexei Yashin (Ottawa & Islanders), Alexei Kovalev (Montreal), Pavel Bure (Florida), Alexander Mogilny (Buffalo), Alexei Zhamnov (Chicago), and Ilya Kovalchuk (Atlanta).

Kovalchuk and Ovechkin are the only two active captains and both will be essential to Team Russia next month in Vancouver. Ovechkin was voted unanimously by his teammates and was greeted to applause when it was revealed.

Ovie was originally offered the captain’s ‘C’ three years ago but declined due to a poor grasp on the English language. Now three years later the face of the Capitals franchise is the voice of reason on and off the ice.

Below are videos of Ovechkin putting on the jersey for the first time followed by his post-game interview on the captaincy courtesy of the NHL and NHL.com.

Further below you will find a video to a famous Russian song that translates to captain, captain smile! which could not be more appropriate for the newest Capitals captain who has hockey’s most recognizable smile.

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