Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Valeri Zelepukin
Valeri Zelepukin was selected 221st overall in the 1990 Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils. He made his NHL debut with the Devils against the Hartford Whalers on December 19, 1991, and scored his first goal a week later against the New York Islanders.

Prior to his NHL career Zelepukin played with Khimik in the Soviet league and toured NHL cities with his club team in 1989, 1990 and 1991. In International Hockey he represented the Soviet Union at the 1988 World Junior Hockey Championship and at the 1991 World Hockey Championship. He was also a member of the Russian team during the 1996 World Cup of Hockey and the 1998 Olympic Games, where he was a silver medallist.

Four games into the 1995 season Zelepukin suffered an eye injury during a Devils practice that kept him out of the lineup for the balance of the regular season. He recovered sufficiently to return for the playoffs and appeared in 18 games as the Devils went on to win the Stanley Cup.

He is strong and balanced on his skates and plays with the ability to think creatively on offence while maintaining a sound defensive posture. Essentially he was the prototypical New Jersey Devil but his offensive output dropped off dramatically after his injury. His statistical maladies, coupled with the depth of two-way talent on the Devils, led to his being packaged in a four-player deal to Edmonton on January 4, 1998.

His stay with the Oilers was short-lived and he was on the move again, this time to Philadelphia, just prior to the start of the 1998-99 season. Zelepukin tuned his defensive game while with the Flyers and developed additional grit, playing on the third line. He scored five game winning goals in his first year with Philadelphia and counted three more game winners the following season.

Zelepukin signed as a free agent with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2000 and spent two seasons with the organization, splitting his time between Chicago and Norfolk before opting to return to his homeland in the summer of 2002. In 2002-03, Zelepukin joined the Russian Elite League and went on to represent Russia at the 2004 World Championships in Prague, Czech Republic.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1984-85 Khimik Voskresensk USSR 5 0 0 0 2
1985-86 Khimik Voskresensk USSR 33 2 2 4 10
1985-86 Soviet Union EJC-A 5 3 0 3 4
1986-87 Khimik Voskresensk USSR 19 1 0 1 4
1986-87 Soviet Union WJC-A 6 2 1 3 4
1987-88 SKA MVO Kalinin USSR-2 45 18 6 24 52
1987-88 CSKA Moscow USSR 19 3 1 4 8
1987-88 Soviet Union WJC-A 7 6 1 7 4
1988-89 CSKA Moscow USSR 17 2 3 5 2
1988-89 CSKA Moscow Super-S 7 2 1 3 0
1989-90 Khimik Voskresensk USSR 46 17 14 31 26
1989-90 Khimik Voskresensk Fr-Tour 1 0 1 1 0
1989-90 Khimik Voskresensk Super-S 6 3 1 4 0
1990-91 Khimik Voskresensk USSR 34 11 6 17 38
1990-91 Khimik Voskresensk Super-S 7 4 4 8 2
1990-91 Soviet Union WEC-A 9 0 4 4 5
1991-92 New Jersey Devils NHL 44 13 18 31 28 +11 4 1 1 2 2
1991-92 Utica Devils AHL 22 20 9 29 8
1992-93 New Jersey Devils NHL 78 23 41 64 70 +19 5 0 2 2 0
1993-94 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 26 31 57 70 +36 20 5 2 7 14
1994-95 New Jersey Devils NHL 4 1 2 3 6 +3 18 1 2 3 12
1995-96 New Jersey Devils NHL 61 6 9 15 107 -10
1996-97 Russia W-Cup 3 0 0 0 20
1996-97 New Jersey Devils NHL 71 14 24 38 36 -10 8 3 2 5 2
1997-98 New Jersey Devils NHL 35 2 8 10 32 0
1997-98 Edmonton Oilers NHL 33 2 10 12 57 -2 8 1 2 3 2
1997-98 Russia Olympics 6 1 2 3 0
1998-99 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 74 16 9 25 48 0 4 1 0 1 4
1999-00 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 77 11 21 32 55 -3 18 1 2 3 12
2000-01 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 36 3 4 7 18 -14
2000-01 Norfolk Admirals AHL 29 10 9 19 28 -3 9 5 3 8 6
2001-02 Norfolk Admirals AHL 27 8 10 18 29 +3 4 0 1 1 2
2002-03 Ak Bars Kazan Russia 27 5 8 13 72 5 1 1 2 4
2003-04 SKA St. Petersburg Russia 58 19 15 34 92
2003-04 Russia WC-A 6 0 2 2 4 +1
2004-05 SKA St. Petersburg Russia 48 4 6 10 102
2005-06 Khimik Moscow Region Russia 33 3 8 11 28 4 1 0 1 2
NHL Totals 595 117 177 294 527 85 13 13 26 48


Missed majority of 1994-95 due to eye injury suffered in practice, January 24, 1995. Traded to Edmonton by New Jersey with Bill Guerin for Jason Arnott and Bryan Muir, January 4, 1998. Traded to Philadelphia by Edmonton for Daniel Lacroix, October 5, 1998. Signed as a free agent by Chicago, July 18, 2000.
Missed majority of 2001-02 due to knee injury in training camp, October 4, 2001.
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