|Born||October 10, 1972 |
Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||214 lb (97 kg; 15 st 4 lb)|
|Played for||Sokil Kyiv|
Los Angeles Kings
New York Islanders
Ak Bars Kazan
|National team||Template:Country data URS &|
Template:Country data RUS
|NHL Draft||81st overall, 1991|
Los Angeles Kings
Alexei Zhitnik (born Oleksiy Mykolaiovych Zhitnik on October 10, 1972) is a Ukrainian-Russian former professional ice hockey defenceman.
He has played more games in the National Hockey League (NHL) (1,085) than any other Soviet-born defenceman.
Alexei has represented the Soviet Union, CIS and Russia internationally & Ukraine during two NHL All-Star Games. His number 13 has been honored by Sokil Kyiv.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Alexei was drafted 81st overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft after playing for Sokil Kyiv in the Soviet Championship League for two years.
After another year, he came to the NHL for the 1992-93 NHL season.
On October 6, 1992, Alexei made his NHL debut against the Calgary Flames and scored his first goal nine nights later, also against Calgary.
In his rookie season with the Kings, he finished second among rookie defenceman in points with 48.
Alexei was an important part of the Kings' playoff run to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost to the Montreal Canadiens.
On February 14, 1995, he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres with Robb Stauber, Charlie Huddy and Los Angeles' fifth-round choice (Marian Menhart in the 1995 NHL Entry Draft for Philippe Boucher, Denis Tsygurov and Grant Fuhr.
Alexei became one of the team's best players, helping the Sabres win the Northeast Division in the 1996–97 NHL season, his second full year with the team.
In the 1997-98 NHL season,he led all defensemen in shorthanded goals (3).
On December 6, 2004, he was signed as a free agent by Kazan in Russia.
On August 2, 2005, Alexei was signed as a free agent by the New York Islanders to a four-year contract where he became an effective force on the team.
Even though he missed the last 18 games of the season with a fractured ankle, Alexei finished second among team defenceman in scoring.
On February 24, 2007, Alexei was traded to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for Braydon Coburn to add experience for the playoffs.
Due to his disappointing play with the Thrashers combined with the teams focus on rebuilding, the team bought out his contract on June 30, 2008 which made him a free agent.
On July 26, 2008, Alexei returned to Russia and the now-Kontinental Hockey League, signing a tryout contract with Dynamo Moscow.
He eventually became the last captain for Dynamo before being released as the team folded following the 2009-10 KHL season.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|1992–93||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||78||12||36||48||80||24||3||9||12||26|
|1993–94||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||81||12||40||52||101||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||11||2||5||7||27||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004–05||Ak Bars Kazan||RSL||23||1||8||9||30||4||0||0||0||2|
|2005–06||New York Islanders||NHL||59||5||24||29||88||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||New York Islanders||NHL||30||2||9||11||40||—||—||—||—||—|
International Statistics[edit | edit source]
|Junior Int'l totals||14||2||2||4||4|
|Senior Int'l totals||48||3||7||10||30|
Awards & Achievements[edit | edit source]
- 1992: Gold Medal (XVII Olympic Winter Games)
- 1992–93: Clarence S. Campbell Bowl (Los Angeles Kings)
- 1996: Bronze Medal (World Cup of Hockey)
- 1998: Silver Medal (XVIII Olympic Winter Games)
- 1998–99: Played in the All-Star Game (NHL)
- 2001–02: Played in the All-Star Game (NHL)
- 2008: Spengler Cup Champion (Dynamo Moscow)
- 2008–09: Played in the All-Star Game (KHL)
Records[edit | edit source]
- On February 20, 2007, as a Flyer, he became the eighth defenseman born outside of North America, and first born in the Soviet Union to appear in 1,000 NHL games (Sergei Zubov has since joined Alexei in that regard). The others at the time: Nicklas Lidstrom, Borje Salming, Calle Johansson, Ulf Samuelsson, Fredrik Olausson (all from Sweden), Petr Svoboda from the Czech Republic and Teppo Numminen of Finland.
International Play[edit | edit source]
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Template:USSR|
|World Junior Championship|
|Silver||1991 Saskatoon||Ice hockey|
|Competitor for Template:Country data CIS|
|World Junior Championship|
|Gold||1992 Fũssen||Ice hockey|
|Gold||1992 Albertville||Ice hockey|
|Competitor for Template:RUS|
|Silver||1998 Nagano||Ice hockey|