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Evgeni Nabokov: Misc

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Ice Hockey

Up to date as of February 02, 2010

An Ice Hockey Wiki article.

Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Nickname(s) Nabby, Bilo, John
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
200 lb (91 kg)
NHL Team San Jose Sharks
Nationality Russia
Born July 25 1975 (1975-07-25) (age 34),
Ust-Kamenogorsk, U.S.S.R.
NHL Draft 219th overall, 1994
San Jose Sharks
Pro Career 1995 – present

Evgeni Viktorovich Nabokov (Russian: Евге́ний Ви́кторович Набо́ков) (born July 25, 1975 in Ust-Kamenogorsk, U.S.S.R., now Kazakhstan), is a professional ice hockey player. He plays as a goaltender for the San Jose Sharks in the National Hockey League.

Nabokov was selected by San Jose in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft (9th round, 219th overall). When he started playing in North America, he went by John, rather than Evgeni, fearing that English speakers would have a hard time pronouncing his name. However, this change did not last.

Contents

Playing career

San Jose Head Scout Tim Burke saw Nabokov play during his trip to Russia. Taken very late in the ninth round, Nabokov had progressed tremendously. When Burke went to see who owned Nabokov's rights, he was surprised (and pleased), and he immediately signed Nabokov to a pro contract in the summer of 1997. After a few years in the AHL, Nabokov played his first NHL game on the first day of the new millennium, stopping his first four shots, all breakaways, when he replaced Steve Shields in a game against the Nashville Predators.

On January 19th, 2000, Nabokov started in his first NHL game, playing against the Colorado Avalanche and famed goalie Patrick Roy. Impressively, Nabokov stopped all 39 shots he faced in a 0-0 tie. In his first four appearances, Nabokov stopped all but one of his first 104 shots, and the one goal he allowed was when Stephane Matteau put the puck into an empty net while Nabokov was skating to the bench on a delayed penalty.

In the second game of the 2001 season, Shields hurt his ankle, leaving San Jose without a number #1 goalie. Instead of giving the job to the very well known Miikka Kiprusoff, whom the Sharks brass considered the "goalie of the future," they left Kiprusoff in the AHL so he could get more experience, and gave the starting position to Nabokov, and he ran away with it, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the rookie of the year. Also, he played in the 2001 All-star game and took San Jose to the playoffs.

On March 10, 2002 he became the first netminder in NHL history to score a powerplay goal, doing so against the Vancouver Canucks. He was also the first European goaltender to score a goal.

Nabokov was considered one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL, and is often ranked as one of the top ten, if not top five goaltenders in the NHL by magazines like ESPN The Magazine and The Hockey News. However, the 2005-2006 season was an off year for Nabokov. His save percentage of under .900 was a big concern to the team. More notably, he was relegated to the role of backup goaltender, in deference to a red-hot Vesa Toskala.

Nabokov is known for his excellent positioning and his ability to challenge shooters, but has recently been hampered by a groin injury. During the 2006-07 NHL season, Nabokov has split the starting goaltending duties with Toskala. As of March 18, 2007, the Sharks have played 78 games, with Nabokov starting 45 [1]. Nabokov played all 5 games in the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2007 NHL playoffs, helping the Sharks defeat the Nashville Predators in 5 games.

Evgeni's father Viktor Nabokov was a professional goaltender as well, who played in Kazakhstan and Russia with Avtomobilist Sverdlovsk and Kazzinc-Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk.

Contracts

During the 2003 season, Nabokov held out, refusing to sign San Jose's proposed contract. After making only US$1 million for two years of stellar play, he wanted much more. When he finally signed a contract, he struggled to regain his form, as he had taken too long of a break. Later, he remarked that holding out was extremely unsportsmanlike, and that he would never do it again. He held to his word when he avoided arbitration by signing a two-year deal worth US$4.425 million per year in 2004, even when players comparable to him were getting more than US$6 million per year.

Despite his less-than-stellar play during the 2006 season, Nabokov was signed to a four-year contract extension worth roughly US$21.5 million. The contract has a no-trade clause that will be activated, since San Jose made the playoffs.

International career

While he is a Russian citizen, he was previously denied permission by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) to play for Russia, because he had competed for Kazakhstan as a junior. In 2005, Nabokov was granted permission to play for Russia in the IIHF World Championships, but declined. He played for Russia in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Awards

External Links

  • Evgeni Nabokov's career stats at The Internet Hockey Database
This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Evgeni Nabokov. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


Russian hockey players

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This article uses material from the "Evgeni Nabokov" article on the Ice Hockey wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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