Former NHLers That Might Be On a Milk Carton, But They've Been Found Overseas
The First National Team break in Europe is here, so we figured it was a perfect time to check in on what former NHL players and coaches are doing so far in the 2021-22 season overseas.
Jaromir Jagr - Czech - Rytíři Kladno
Obviously, the biggest name on the list, and this legend is 49 years old and still getting it done in the Czech Republic. “Who ownnnzz who ownnnzz the Chiefs?” In this case, it's Jagr himself! This guy just absolutely loves the game, bought his hometown team, and is still lighting up the scoresheet with 6 goals and 7 assists after 19 games played. The fun fact is his linemate this season is former Montreal Canadian Thomas Plekanec, so definitely a fun team to follow this year.
David Krejci - Czech- HC Olomouc
Tears were shed throughout the Barstool office and all of New England when David announced he wanted to go play in front of his family and friends in the Czech Republic. A move I completely understand and what a privilege these European players have after their careers in North America. Krejci has done exactly what everyone thought and has ripped the league apart. After 20 games played he has 11 goals 10 assists and has his team right in the middle of the standings. Will we see him back in Bruins colors in April??
Carl Soderberg - SHL - Malmo Redhawks
After 9 seasons in the NHL most notably with the Colorado Avalanche. Throughout Southern Sweden, we've been hearing “Hey Carl good to see you” as he has returned to his hometown team the Malmo Redhawks. When he left Malmo they were in the Swedish 2nd league and now he has returned to see them in the top league, the SHL. The Redhawks couldn't be happier with his return as ticket sales have increased to see the Hometown Hero and he has 10 goals 7 assists after 18 games on the ice so far.
Nigel Dawes - DEL - Mannheim
Dawes was an NHL/AHL journeyman in his North American career but became a huge star in the KHL. Nigel played 10 years in the KHL most of them for Barys Astana in Kazakhstan and was always one of the top scorers in the league, “very nice I like it”. This season he has given up the Russian Gas and 2-month training camps to sign in Mannheim, Germany. Not only did he get to attend Oktoberfest but he played in his 1,000th game this season (Somewhere Biz cringes). After 19 games he has 8 goals and 9 assists.
Zach Boychuk - DEL - Berlin
Carolina’s first-round pick in 2008 is in his 7th year in Europe after bouncing around the NHL/AHL for 7 years. Zach won $EBR followers a bunch of cash last season when he won the DEL Championship with Berlin and has returned for a second season. Always a steady point producer he has 6 goals 6 assists after 19 games and he will once again get Berlin deep into the playoffs.
Brandon Yip - KHL - Kunlun Red Star
Always gotta keep an eye on any guest of Chiclets that is overseas scoring goals and cashing checks. The former Av and Predator is back in the KHL and suiting up for the Kunlun Red Star for a 4th season. Yipper is 2nd in team points scoring 8 goals adding 7 assists in 26 games. Look for him on Team China at the Olympics in February.
Nail Yakupov - KHL - Omsk Hawks
This name still upsets the Edmonton Oilers faithful as they used the #1 overall pick on him in 2012 and he never reached the star status of most top picks. Nail had little success in the NHL over 6 years and returned home to Russia. This is his 4th year back in KHL and is suiting up for the Omsk Hawks and after 24 games he has 6 goals and 8 assists.
Nikolai Kulemin - KHL - Salavat Ufa
After 10 years, I’d say a quiet 669 games played with the Leafs and Islanders has returned home to Russia. Nikolai is in his 4th year in Russia and this is his first with Ufa and after 27 games he has 9 goals and 5 assists.
Bob Hartley - KHL - Omsk Hawks
The former Avalanche, Thrashers, and Flames head coach is now bag skating his players in Russia for the 3rd season. Last season he brought Omsk to the Gagarin Cup Finals and pulled the upset over CSKA Moscow to win the title and collect the big bonus. After 26 games, Omsk is 14-12 and has looked very inconsistent so far.
Alexei Kovalev - KHL - Kunlun Red Star
This NHL All-Star is in his 4th year coaching with Kunlun Red Star, 2 years as an assistant, last year as Head coach and you only see this in the KHL this season back as an assistant. First I don't know how a Russian legend like this ended up in China in the first place but, how he is back there being only the assistant coach is beyond me. Kunlun is a doormat in the league every year and no matter how good their coach’s hands were, this will not change. 7-19 after 26 games see them at the bottom of the table once again.
Bill Peters - KHL - Yekaterinburg Automobilist
Here we have another former Flames head coach now working in Russia. After 9 years in the NHL, Bill is now in Yekaterinburg where last season he was reunited with a former Detroit Red Wing, Pavel Datsyuk. Last year the team was knocked out of the playoffs after 1 round and after their 12-16 start to this season and losing their #1 goaltender for the year, I can’t see them making it any further than that. Side note they are the best Over bet in the KHL this year so far.