May 18, 1976 |
Donetsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||211 lb (96 kg; 15 st 1 lb)|
|Salavat Yulaev Ufa
Los Angeles Kings
New Jersey Devils
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
|NHL Draft||2nd overall, 1994
Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
Tverdovsky was born and raised in the mining city of Donetsk, Ukraine. In his earlier years, the city had no artificial ice surfaces so his introduction to the game was through street hockey. In 1983 Tverdovsky began his interest in hockey at the city's only fully functioning skating arena. Though this was originally intended for figure skating, low turnout compelled city officials to create a year-round hockey school. Open tryouts were held and 7-year old Tverdovsky finally had a chance to learn the sport, but his inexperience with skating initially held him back. He recalls "I tried everything, even holding my hands on the boards, but the progress was slow." The team coach identified the problem being weakness in his ankles, and put him on a training regimen which included running on beach sand and stones barefoot.
In 1991 the system which froze the ice at his local arena became permanently broken and his amateur career in hockey was potentially over. By this time he was one of the best players, as well as the best skater on his team. "I was a defenseman all my career and I always loved rushes," he says. "It didn't take a lot of stickhandling for me to score lots of goals - I just skated around the opponents." This talent did not go unnoticed, as Yan Kaminsky, the coach of the Dynamo Moscow junior team at the time, noticed Tverdovsky and invited him to come to Moscow. Kamentsky soon left Dynamo and accepted a job with Krylya Sovetov, also in Moscow. His mother, Alexandra, did not want her 15-year-old son to leave home, but his father, Fedor, convinced her that it would be for the best.
"It wasn't an easy time for me. I lived in a dormitory, missing my family, especially my 7-year-old sister (Anna)," Oleg recalls.
Though missing his home in Ukraine, Oleg made a lot of progress to his game while in Russia. He and his teammate from Donetsk, Yuri Litvinov (later drafted by the New York Rangers), practiced eight hours a day, four times a week. Igor Dmitriyev, the coach of the senior Krylya Sovetov team signed the 16-year-old defenseman to a contract with the professional club, despite the fact that Oleg never played for the junior team.
"When I saw him for the first time I was amazed by his skating ability," says Dmitriyev, then the head coach of the Russian National Team. "He carried the puck so well, he had so much confidence that I decided to give him a chance."
For two years, he lived in the team's training camp facility, which was located on the outskirts of Moscow. Without a car, Oleg was forced to spend most of his time at the facility itself.
Tverdovsky was drafted second overall by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. When Oleg arrived in Anaheim, Mighty Ducks players already had a nickname for him - "Double O," as in Oleg Orr. In 1996, Tverdovsky was traded to the Winnipeg Jets as part of a trade that included Teemu Selänne. He would be traded back to Anaheim in 1999 for Travis Green and a first-round selection.
Tverdovsky has won two Stanley Cups in his career: one with the New Jersey Devils in 2003 and one with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. On September 29, 2006, Tverdovsky and Jack Johnson were traded to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Éric Bélanger and Tim Gleason.
Tverdovsky played the 2007–08 season in Russia for Salavat Yulayev Ufa, where he played for the next five seasons. When he left the NHL, Tverdovsky was still under contract with the Los Angeles Kings. This was able to happen because there was no transfer agreement between the NHL and the Russian Hockey Federation.
He was traded to Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the 2011-12 season, and played part of the next season with that club before retiring.
Awards and achievements
- 1996–97 NHL All-Star
- 2002–03 NHL Stanley Cup winner, (New Jersey Devils)
- 2003–04 Russian Superleague Champion, (Avangard Omsk)
- 2005–06 NHL Stanley Cup winner, (Carolina Hurricanes)
- 2007–08 Russian Superleague Champion, (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
- 2010-11 KHL Gagarin Cup winner, (Salavat Yulaev Ufa)
|1992–93||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||IHL||21||0||1||1||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|1993–94||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||IHL||46||4||10||14||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Brandon Wheat Kings||WHL||7||1||4||5||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994–95||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||36||3||9||12||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|1995–96||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||51||7||15||22||35||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||82||15||36||51||30||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||82||14||39||53||32||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Mighty Ducks of Anaheim||NHL||73||6||26||32||31||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||New Jersey Devils||NHL||50||5||8||13||22||15||0||3||3||0|
|2006–07||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||26||0||4||4||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||RSL||43||6||11||17||58||16||2||6||8||10|
|2008–09||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||KHL||48||8||19||27||30||2||0||0||0||0|
|2009–10||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||KHL||42||8||13||21||38||16||1||4||5||4|
|2010–11||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||KHL||40||7||9||16||20||7||1||0||1||12|
|2011–12||Salavat Yulaev Ufa||KHL||12||0||0||0||8||—||—||—||—||—|
|Competitor for Russia|
|Bronze||2002 Salt Lake City||Ice hockey|
|Gold||2009 Switzerland||Ice hockey|
|World Junior Championships|
|Bronze||1994 Ostrava||Ice hockey|
Played for Russia in:
- 1994 -World Junior Championships (Bronze Medal)
- 1996 -World Championships
- 1996 -World Cup of Hockey
- 2001 -World Championships
- 2002 -Winter Olympics (bronze medal)
- 2004 -World Championships
- 2004 -World Cup of Hockey
- 2009 -World Championships (Gold Medal)
- 2010 -Winter Olympics (*reserve)
|Junior int'l totals||7||1||5||6||6|
|Senior int'l totals||38||6||7||13||14|
- Oleg Tverdovsky's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Oleg Tverdovsky's player profile at NHL.com
- Oleg Tverdovsky profile at Eurohockey.com
|Anaheim Mighty Ducks first round draft pick