Full Name: Valeri Viktorovich Kamensky
Last Team: Khimik Voskresensk (RSL)
Position: Left Wing
Height: 6’1”/185 cm
Weight: 196 lbs/89 kg
Born: April 18, 1966 in Voskresensk, RUS
Drafted: Selected by the Quebec Nordiques in 7th round (129th overall) of the 1988 Entry Draft
Strengths: Kamensky was one of the best forwards that developed in the Soviet Union in the 1980s. His playmaking and sniping abilities carried over successfully to the NHL, where he was one of the fastest skaters.
Weaknesses: Kamensky played best with equally talented linemates, but struggled when he had to lead a team. Despite his strong efforts, he did not develop into a great all-around forward.
Biography: Valeri Kamensky grew up and began his hockey career in Voskresensk, a small city in the Moscow Region that has raised several hockey stars, including Igor Larionov and Vyacheslav Kozlov. Like Larionov, Kamensky developed with the Khimik sports club and after a few seasons moved to CSKA – the country’s top club. In 1985, he was a member of the bronze-medal Soviet team at the World Junior Championship and in the following year won the gold medal with the team. In the late 1980s, Kamensky became one of the top scorers for both the Red Army team and for the national team. He primarily played on a line with Vyacheslav Bykov and Andrei Khomutov – the Soviet Union’s top scoring threat after the famous Krutov-Larionov-Makarov troika. With Kamensky, the Soviet Union won World Championship gold medals in 1986, 1988, 1989, and 1990, a silver medal in 1987, and a bronze in 1991. At the 1991 World Championship, he was named the tournament’s top forward. Kamensky also had memorable performances at the 1987 Canada Cup, where the USSR finished second, and the 1988 Olympics which the team won. While he was with CSKA, his team won four consecutive Soviet championships from 1986 to 1989. Kamensky was named the top Soviet hockey player in 1991. Although he was drafted by the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques in 1988, Valeri had to wait until 1991 to play hockey in North America. By the time he left CSKA and Russia, he had a rank of First Lieutenant and was decorated with a Medal for Labour Valour. With the Nordiques, Kamensky was playing at near point-per-game pace in his first few seasons and was one of several European stars on the team, along with Swedes Mats Sundin and Peter Forsberg. For the duration of the 1994-95 NHL lockout, Kamensky joined Ambri-Piotta of the Swiss league. The following season was the most successful not only for the Nordiques (which moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche), but also for Kamensky. He scored a career-high 38 goals and 85 points and added 22 points in the playoffs, with his team winning the Stanley Cup. With this victory, Valeri was one of the first Russians (with teammate Alexei Gusarov) to join the rare Triple-Gold club of players who have won the World Junior Championship, the World Championship, and the Stanley Cup. Kamensky maintained a high-scoring rate in the next two seasons and his dangling goal against Panthers keeper John Vanbiesbrouck was selected the best goal of the 1997-98 season. That year, Kamensky also played for Russia at the Nagano Olympics, where the team lost in the gold-medal final to the Czechs. In 1999, Kamensky signed with the New York Rangers and in 2001-02 played his final NHL season for the Dallas Stars and the New Jersey Devils. At this point, he was a supporting rather than a top-line player and was scratched from the lineup on a regular basis. He announced his retirement in 2002, but the next year returned to Russia to play for the club where he began his career – Khimik. Kamensky had a productive final season in 2004-05, scoring 17 goals and not missing any games. Kamensky is currently a board member of the Kontinental Hockey League and is chairman of the league’s disciplinary committee. He is also a noted collector of autographed hockey sticks.
|1994-95||HC Ambri-Piotta (Switz.)||12||13||6||19||2|
|Totals||USSR/RSL Reg. Season||409||144||124||268||342|
|Totals||NHL Reg. Season||637||200||301||501||+15||383|
National Team Stats:
|1985||World Juniors U20||7||2||2||4||8|
|1986||World Juniors U20||7||7||6||13||6|