Ilya Bryzgalov was born June 22, 1980 in Togliatti, Russia. The 2nd choice, 44th overall selection of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Bryzgalov led the Russian Hockey League in shutouts during the 2000-01 season with eight and had the fourth lowest GAA (1.84) as a member of Lada Togliatti.
The native of Togliatti, Russia was a member of Team Russia at the 2000 World Junior Championships, leading the team to a Silver Medal with a tournament-best 0.77 GAA and a .971 SV%.
A member of Team Russia at the 2000 World Championships, Bryzgalov came to North America in 2001-02. Upon his arrival, Bryzgalov joined Anaheim's AHL affiliate in Cincinnati and spent the majority of his time honing his skills, while seeing limited actoin with the parent club.
Bryzgalov represented Russia at the 2006 Winter Olympics and later returned to the NHL to appear in 27 games throughout the Ducks 2006-07 season. In the subsequent playoffs, Bryzgalov stepped in for fellow netminder J-S Giguere and helped the Ducks through four games of the Western Conference Quarter Finals. Giguere took over in game five of the series and the Ducks went on the capture the Stanley Cup in 2007.
Two months into the 2007-08 season, Anaheim Ducks General Manager Brian Burke placed Bryzgalov on waivers. He was claimed a day later by the Phoenix Coyotes.
In Phoenix, Bryzgalov emerged as one of the NHL's top goaltenders, leading the Coyotes to back-to-back playoff appearances and consistently keeping his goals against average under 2.50.
On June 7, 2011, with free agency less than a month away, the Coyotes shipped Bryzgalov's rights to the Philadelphia Fylers in exchange for Matt Clackson, a third round draft pick and future considerations. Days later the goaltender inked a whopping a nine-year, $51 million contract with the Flyers.