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Name: Alexander RyazantsevWashington Capitals (#167/1999 NHL Draft)

Rating: 71
Height: 184cm/6'0"
Weight: 96kg/211.2 lb
Position: Defenseman
Shoots: Right
Born: 1980-03-15
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Game Worn Jerseys:
1996-97 Spartak (Moscow) Away - Sold
2000-01 Hershey Bears Home - Sold
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Talent Analysis:
Alexander Ryazantsev compensates for his lack of physical size with his versatile talent. Alexander is a very quick and offensively dangerous player. He is a swift skater with great take off speed. Besides his skating he has above average puck handling and excellent passing abilities. This solid combination of offensive skills makes him an able quarterback for a team’s top power play unit. Alexander also has a good shot and can equally threaten the opponents with a well directed shot as well as a precise pass. Alexander’s main areas for improvement are on defense. Alexander is not very physical despite his strongly built 6'0 and 210 pound frame. He is a strong hitter when he chooses to play the physical game, but this offensive minded defenseman does not generally get involved in heavy physical contact. Alexander has a solid hockey sense, but he still needs to grow as a player and understand how to balance his defensive responsibilities with his offensive talent. During his first full season with the Hershey Bears he has shown increasing maturity and the reason why he is touted as Avalanche’s top defensive prospect.
Back In Russia:
Alexander Ryazantsev started his career in the system of Spartak Moscow. He joined the main adult team for 20 games games during the 1996-97 season. He spent most of the 1997-98 season with the club’s junior farm team, Spartak 2. During the 1997-98 season Alexander came to North America and joined the Victoriaville Tigres junior team of the QMJHL. The move provided Alexander with much needed exposure that he would not have gotten if he continued playing for Spartak’s junior team. His first season was very solid on a stronger Victoriaville team. He debuted with 15 points and a solid +24 in last 22 games of the 97-98 season. His performance raised his CSB ranking to #8 among amongst European skaters prior to the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He followed his performance up with two strong 98-99 and 99-00 campaigns. During his final year with Vicotriaville, Alexander displayed his growing defensive maturity by leading the team in +/- rating with +22. During the 1999-00, at the conclusion of Alexander’s junior career, the Colorado Avalanche promoted Alexander to the Hershey Bears of the AHL for several games. He performed well and rejoined the Bears for the 00-01 campaign, playing the majority of the season. Throughout the season he continued learning and adopting to the rougher AHL style of hockey and to playing with adult opponents. He adopted well and managed to be one of the highest scoring defensemen on the team with 23 points (5+18) in 66 games and logging in 25 or more minutes of playing time per game. The young blue liner spent most of the 2002-03 season with the Hershey Bears, before being traded to the Nashville Predators, who then dealt him to the Washington Capitals in July. The young defenseman did not sign a deal with Washington and will spend the coming season with Russian Super League champions, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.

On the international arena, Alexander represented Russia at the 1999 and the 2000 World Under 20 Junior Championships. He did not get much ice time and was mainly fielded in the defensive role at the 1999 WJC. Playing in 7 games he recorded no points and earned a +4 +/- rating on the way to Russia’s silver medal. At the 2000 WJC he played a much more critical role for the Russian squad. He generated offense and was on the top power play unit. Alexander led all defensemen of the tournament in scoring with 8 (2+6) points and a strong +12 rating in 7 games and was named the best defenseman of the 2000 Under 20 World Junior Championships.
NHL Outlook:
Though he was ranked 8th amongst European defensemen, Alexander dropped in the draft to the sixth round and was finally selected by the Colorado Avalanche 167th overall. It was a great find for Colorado as since the draft Alexander has been steadily developing into a top line power play specialist in the mold of Sandis Ozolinsh and Phil Housley. He has displayed his maturity by progressively adapting to North American style of hockey. Avalanche’s top four defensemen positions are already determined, but beyond that it is wide open for a rookie to come in and earn a place on the roster. Alexander will likely make another attempt at the NHL with the Washington Capitals during the summer of 2004.
Statistics:
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM +/-
2008-09 SKA (St. Petersburg) KHL (Reg.)3 0 0 0 4 0
2006-07 SKA (St. Petersburg) Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 0 0
2006-07 SKA (St. Petersburg) Super League (Reg.)52 6 10 16 20 -2
2005-06 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Playoffs)4 0 1 1 29 1
2005-06 Dynamo (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)39 3 7 10 34 -8
2004-05 Team Russia World Championships (Intl.)9 0 3 3 0 +7
2004-05 Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Super League (Playoffs)4 0 1 1 4 0
2004-05 Team Russia Sweden Games (EuroTour) (Intl.)2 0 0 0 0 -
2004-05 Team Russia ROSSNO Cup (Intl.)3 0 1 1 2 -
2004-05 Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Super League (Reg.)53 4 15 19 32 +19
2003-04 Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Super League (Playoffs)3 0 0 0 6 -
2003-04 Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Super League (Playoffs)0 0 0 0 0 -
2003-04 Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Super League (Reg.)40 3 8 11 60 -
2003-04 Team Russia Karjala Cup (EuroTour)3 0 0 0 0 -1
2002-03 Milwaukee Admirals AHL (Playoffs)5 0 4 4 2 -
2002-03 Milwaukee Admirals AHL (Reg.)14 3 4 7 9 -
2002-03 Hershey Bears AHL (Reg.)57 5 10 15 65 -
2001-02 Hershey Bears AHL (Playoffs)5 0 1 1 0 -
2001-02 Hershey Bears AHL (Reg.)76 5 19 24 28 -
2000-01 Hershey Bears AHL (Playoffs)6 1 1 2 0 -
2000-01 Hershey Bears AHL (Reg.)66 5 18 23 26 -5
1999-00 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL (Playoffs)6 2 5 7 20 -
1999-00 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL (Reg.)48 17 45 62 45 22
1999-00 U20 Team Russia U20 WJC IIHF (Intl.)7 2 6 8 2 12
1999-00 Hershey Bears AHL (Reg.)2 0 1 1 2 0
1998-99 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL (Playoffs)6 0 3 3 10 2
1998-99 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL (Reg.)64 17 40 57 57 10
1998-99 Hershey Bears AHL (Reg.)2 0 0 0 2 1
1998-99 U20 Team Russia U20 WJC IIHF (Intl.)7 0 0 0 4 4
1997-98 Spartak Moscow 2 1st League (Juniors)31 3 8 11 26 -
1997-98 Victoriaville Tigres QMJHL (Reg.)22 6 9 15 14 24
1996-97 Spartak Moscow 2 1st League (Juniors)18 0 0 0 8 -
1996-97 Spartak (Moscow) Super League (Reg.)20 1 2 3 4 -
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