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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Hockey Players. The pantheon dataset contains 364 Hockey Players, 73 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 2nd most number of Hockey Players.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Hockey Players of all time. This list of famous Russian Hockey Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Russian Hockey Players.

Photo of Viktor Tikhonov

1. Viktor Tikhonov (1930 - 2014)

With an HPI of 57.45, Viktor Tikhonov is the most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages on wikipedia.

Viktor Vasilyevich Tikhonov (Russian: Виктор Васильевич Тихонов; 4 June 1930 – 24 November 2014) was a Russian ice hockey player and coach. Tikhonov was a defenceman with VVS Moscow and Dynamo Moscow from 1949 to 1963, winning four national championships. He was the coach of the Soviet team when it was the dominant team in international play, winning eight World Championship gold medals, as well as Olympic gold medals in 1984, 1988 and 1992. Tikhonov also led CSKA Moscow to twelve consecutive league championships. He was named to the IIHF Hall of Fame as a builder in 1998.

Photo of Vladislav Tretiak

2. Vladislav Tretiak (1952 - )

With an HPI of 56.27, Vladislav Tretiak is the 2nd most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages.

Vladislav Aleksandrovich Tretiak, MSM (Russian: Владислав Александрович Третьяк, IPA: [trʲɪˈtʲjak]; born 25 April 1952) is a Russian former goaltender for the Soviet Union national ice hockey team. Considered to be one of the greatest goaltenders in the history of the sport, he was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries. He is the current president of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and was the general manager of the Russian 2010 Winter Olympic team.

Photo of Valeri Kharlamov

3. Valeri Kharlamov (1948 - 1981)

With an HPI of 55.64, Valeri Kharlamov is the 3rd most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Valeri Borisovich Kharlamov (Russian: Вале́рий Бори́сович Харла́мов, IPA: [vɐˈlʲerʲɪj bɐˈrʲisəvʲɪtɕ xɐrˈlaməf]; 14 January 1948 – 27 August 1981) was a Russian ice hockey forward who played for CSKA Moscow in the Soviet League from 1967 until his death in 1981. Although small in stature, Kharlamov was a speedy, intelligent, skilled and dominant player, being named the Soviet Championship League most valuable player in 1972 and 1973. An offensive player, who was considered very creative on the ice, he also led the league in scoring in 1972. He was also a gifted skater who was able to make plays at top speed. Kharlamov was considered one of the best players of his era, as well as one of the greatest players of all time. In international play, Kharlamov represented the Soviet Union at 11 World Championships, winning 8 gold medals, 2 silvers and 1 bronze. He participated in three Olympics, 1972, 1976 and 1980, finishing with two gold medals and a silver, and participated in the 1972 Summit Series against Canada. He spent most of his career playing on a line with Vladimir Petrov and Boris Mikhailov, and this trio is considered one of the best in the history of ice hockey. Kharlamov was killed in a car accident in 1981. After his death, Kharlamov was elected to the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame, the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Russian Hockey Hall of Fame and was selected as one of the forwards on the IIHF Centennial All-Star Team. The Kharlamov Trophy is presented annually to the best Russian hockey player in the NHL, as chosen by his peers. The Kharlamov Cup is presented to the champion of the Minor Hockey League playoffs, and the Kontinental Hockey League named one of their four divisions after him.

Photo of Viacheslav Fetisov

4. Viacheslav Fetisov (1958 - )

With an HPI of 50.05, Viacheslav Fetisov is the 4th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Viacheslav Alexandrovich "Slava" Fetisov (Russian: Вячеслав Александрович Фетисов; born 20 April 1958) is a Russian former professional ice hockey defenceman. He played for HC CSKA Moscow for 13 seasons before joining the National Hockey League (NHL), where he played with the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings. With the Wings, he won back-to-back Stanley Cups and was part of the team's Russian Five unit. After retiring from his playing career, he became the assistant coach for the New Jersey Devils. Having a very successful four years, he helped get the team to two Stanley Cup finals and one Stanley Cup victory. In addition to that, he won two Olympic gold medals and seven world championships. His Stanley Cup wins, Olympic gold medals, and World Championship wins make him a member of his sport's prestigious Triple Gold Club. Fetisov was instrumental in breaking the barrier that had prevented Soviet players from leaving the Soviet Union to join the NHL. His actions not only resulted in a number of top Soviet players joining the NHL, but encouraged many of the best players from all over Europe to go to North America. Internationally, he was a long-time captain for the Soviet Union national team and is a two-time Olympic champion. In 2002, Fetisov led the Russian Ice Hockey Olympic team as GM and Head Coach, attaining a bronze medal. Considered one of the best defencemen of all time, he was voted as one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team. After retiring as a coach, Fetisov embarked on a political and executive career. After the 2002 Winter Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered him the position as Minister of Sport, a post he held until 2008. He is a member of the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the Federation Council representing Primorsky Krai, the founder and chairman of the KHL's Board of Directors and chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athletes Committee. Fetisov was president of Russian ice hockey club HC CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He was also the key member of the bidding committee that presented the Sochi 2014 proposal to the IOC in Guatemala in 2007, when a city was being chosen to host the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Photo of Sergei Makarov

5. Sergei Makarov (1958 - )

With an HPI of 49.87, Sergei Makarov is the 5th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.

Sergei Mikhailovich Makarov (Russian: Серге́й Миха́йлович Мака́ров; born 19 June 1958) is a Russian former ice hockey right wing and two-time Olympic gold medalist. He was voted one of six players to the International Ice Hockey Federation's (IIHF) Centennial All-Star Team in a poll conducted by a group of 56 experts from 16 countries.

Photo of Igor Larionov

6. Igor Larionov (1960 - )

With an HPI of 49.20, Igor Larionov is the 6th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 23 different languages.

Igor Nikolayevich Larionov (Russian: Игорь Николаевич Ларионов; born 3 December 1960) is a Russian ice hockey coach, sports agent and former professional ice hockey player, known as "the Professor". Along with Viacheslav Fetisov, he was instrumental in forcing the Soviet government to let Soviet players compete in the National Hockey League (NHL). He primarily played the centre position. Larionov won three Stanley Cup championships with the Detroit Red Wings (1997, 1998, 2002) and was inducted as a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame on 10 November 2008. He was also a member of Detroit's famed Russian Five line.

Photo of Alexander Ovechkin

7. Alexander Ovechkin (1985 - )

With an HPI of 45.82, Alexander Ovechkin is the 7th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 37 different languages.

Alexander Mikhailovich Ovechkin (Russian: Александр Михайлович Овечкин, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ɐˈvʲetɕkʲɪn]; born 17 September 1985) is a Russian professional ice hockey left winger and captain of the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League (NHL). Nicknamed "Ovi" (alternatively spelled "Ovie") and "the Great Eight" in reference to his jersey number, Ovechkin is widely regarded as one of the greatest goal scorers of all time. Second only to Wayne Gretzky for all-time goal scoring, Ovechkin also holds many records, including the most power play goals, most goals in away games, and most goals with the same team in NHL history. He is the third NHL player, behind Gordie Howe and Gretzky, to score 800 goals in the regular season. Ovechkin began his professional career with Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Superleague in 2001, playing there for four seasons and returning briefly during the 2012–13 NHL lockout. A highly touted prospect, Ovechkin was selected by the Capitals first overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. In the 2005–06 season, Ovechkin's first with the Capitals, he scored 52 goals and 54 assists to lead all rookies in points, capturing the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year and finishing third overall in league scoring. Ovechkin has won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's leading goal scorer, an NHL-record nine times, first doing so in 2007–08, when his 65 goals and 112 points also earned him the Art Ross Trophy for most points scored. He has scored 50 goals in a season nine times, tying Mike Bossy and Gretzky for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history. He has won the Hart Memorial Trophy for most valuable player three times (in 2008, 2009, and 2013), and the Lester B. Pearson Award/Ted Lindsay Award for best player as voted on by the National Hockey League Players' Association three times (2008, 2009, 2010). In 2018, Ovechkin won the Stanley Cup for the first time, and was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for most valuable player in the 2018 playoffs. He has also been named to the NHL first All-Star team eight times, and the second All-Star team four times. In 2017, Ovechkin was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players of all time.Internationally, Ovechkin has represented Russia in multiple tournaments. His first IIHF tournament was the 2002 World U18 Championship. The following year he made his debut at the World Junior Championship, helping Russia win the gold medal. He played two more years at the World Juniors, as well as once more at the World U18 Championships. Ovechkin's first senior tournament was the 2004 World Championship, and he also played in the World Cup that year. Ovechkin has also played for Russia at the Winter Olympics in 2006, 2010, and 2014. Overall, Ovechkin has represented Russia at thirteen World Championships and three Olympics in his career, winning the World Championship three times.

Photo of Alexander Yakushev

8. Alexander Yakushev (1947 - )

With an HPI of 45.46, Alexander Yakushev is the 8th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Alexander Sergeyevich Yakushev (Russian: Александр Серге́евич Якушев) (born January 2, 1947) is a former ice hockey player and coach for the Soviet Union. Born in Moscow, Soviet Union, Alexander Yakushev is best known to North American hockey fans as one of the stars for the Soviet team that played Team Canada in the famous 1972 Summit Series. His style of play was atypical of his colleagues who were fast and skilled; he was often described as the equivalent of Canada's Phil Esposito. Although often overshadowed by his famous teammate Valeri Kharlamov, by the end of the Summit Series, Yakushev led the Soviets in scoring with 7 goals and 4 assists for 11 points. Besides the Summit Series, he has also played in numerous Olympic and World Championship tournaments, winning Olympic gold in 1972 and 1976 and having been crowned World Champion seven times. After retiring from hockey, Yakushev coached Spartak Moscow for several years and between 1998 and 2000 the Russian national team. On June 26, 2018, it was announced that he would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame November 12, 2018, joining fellow Summit Series teammates Vladislav Tretiak and Valeri Kharlamov.

Photo of Viktor Konovalenko

9. Viktor Konovalenko (1938 - 1996)

With an HPI of 45.16, Viktor Konovalenko is the 9th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Viktor Sergeyevich Konovalenko (Russian: Виктор Сергеевич Коноваленко; 11 March 1938 – 20 February 1996) was a Soviet ice hockey goaltender. He led the Soviet team to the Olympics gold medals in 1964 and 1968, to the IIHF World Championships title in 1963–1968, 1970 and 1971, and to the European title in 1963–68 and 1970. He was named the most valuable player in the Soviet league in 1970 and was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2007.Konovalenko played his entire career from 1956 to 1972 for Torpedo Gorky (now Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod); he never won a national title, and once placed second (in 1961). As a goaltender of the Soviet team he replaced Nikolai Puchkov, and in 1971, he was succeeded by Vladislav Tretiak. In retirement he worked as a goaltender coach with Torpedo Gorky and later became director of the Torpedo Gorky sports arena, which was renamed to the Konovalenko Sports Palace after his death.

Photo of Vyacheslav Starshinov

10. Vyacheslav Starshinov (1940 - )

With an HPI of 45.02, Vyacheslav Starshinov is the 10th most famous Russian Hockey Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Vyacheslav Ivanovich Starshinov (Russian: Вячеслав Иванович Старшинов; born May 6, 1940 in Moscow, Soviet Union) is a Russian former ice hockey player, coach and executive. Starshinov played in the Soviet Hockey League for HC Spartak Moscow, scoring 405 goals in 540 league games. He led the league in goals in 1966-67, 1967–68, and 1968–69. Starshinov also scored 149 goals in 182 international games with the Soviet national team, and was named top forward at the IIHF World Championships in 1965. He also played for the Japanese hockey team Oji Eagles in 1976-1978.He was inducted into the Russian and Soviet Hockey Hall of Fame in 1963 and the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame in 2007.

Pantheon has 73 people classified as hockey players born between 1930 and 1997. Of these 73, 61 (83.56%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living hockey players include Vladislav Tretiak, Viacheslav Fetisov, and Sergei Makarov. The most famous deceased hockey players include Viktor Tikhonov, Valeri Kharlamov, and Viktor Konovalenko.

Living Hockey Players

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Deceased Hockey Players

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Which Hockey Players were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 12 most globally memorable Hockey Players since 1700.