Nikolay Zherdev

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Nikolay Zherdev
Николай Жердев
Zherdev 291111.jpeg
Born (1984-11-05) November 5, 1984 (age 31)
Kyiv, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 203 lb (92 kg; 14 st 7 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
KHL team
Former teams
Dynamo Moscow
CSKA Moscow
Columbus Blue Jackets
Atlant Moscow Oblast
New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers
Ak Bars Kazan
Spartak Moscow
Severstal Cherepovets
National team  Russia
NHL Draft 4th overall, 2003
Columbus Blue Jackets
Playing career 2002–present

Mykola Olehovych "Nikolay" Zherdev (Ukrainian: Микола Олегович Жердев; born November 5, 1984) is a Ukrainian-Russian[1][2] professional ice hockey right winger who is currently playing for HC Dynamo Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

Playing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Kyiv, Ukraine, Zherdev began playing hockey at the age of four.[3] He began his training with the Sokil Kyiv junior hockey affiliate. Due to complications with organizing a team for his age group, he was pushed to play a year ahead with the 1983 born players; a group which included fellow future Ukrainian NHLer Anton Babchuk. While participating in an overseas peewee tournament in Quebec, Canada, Zherdev's team found itself competing against a team from Elektrostal, Russia. The rival team's coach, Ravil Iskhakov, took note of both Zherdev and Babchuk, and invited the pair to further their development with the Elemash Elektrostal hockey club of the Russian Major League, to which they accepted together.[4] The desire to play at a higher level came at a price: his nationality. In order to play in Russia, he would be forced to apply for Russian citizenship.[5]

CSKA Moscow[edit]

As his game progressed and professional teams began to take notice, Elektrostal received offers from the likes of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Ak Bars Kazan, and CSKA Moscow for Zherdev's services. He would accept an invitation for Elektrostal to loan him to the latter team, CSKA, citing a desire to train under esteemed coach Viktor Tikhonov.

Following being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets, Zherdev spent the entire 2002–03 season with CSKA, but in a controversial decision, he left for the NHL half way through the 2003–04 season. He would, however, return to the Russian club during the 2004–05 NHL lockout, making peace.

Zherdev with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008

Columbus Blue Jackets[edit]

Zherdev was drafted by Columbus in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft with the fourth overall pick. At the time, Columbus general manager Doug MacLean stated that the team had Zherdev ranked number one on their draft list. The 2005–06 NHL season was a breakout year for Zherdev, who scored 27 goals and notched 27 assists in 73 games. He was the Blue Jackets' most potent offensive threat while Rick Nash recuperated from injury, and played most of the season on the team's first line.

The 2006–07 NHL season was a low point for Zherdev, as he struggled to score consistently and frequently clashed with the Jackets' coaching staff, leading to repeated rumors that he might be traded before the 2007–08 NHL season began. In response, Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson and then-coach Ken Hitchcock met Zherdev in a "clean-the-slate" meeting.[6] Following the meeting, Zherdev rediscovered success on the ice.[7]

Contract dispute[edit]

Contract negotiations with Blue Jackets management following the 2005–06 season became acrimonious. Zherdev threatened to remain in Russia for the season unless his demands were met, while Columbus insisted that Zherdev's salary demands were not commensurate with his accomplishments. On September 28, 2006, the parties finally agreed to a $7.5 million, three-year contract.[8]

New York Rangers[edit]

Zherdev with the Rangers in 2009

On July 2, 2008, Zherdev was traded by the Blue Jackets along with Dan Fritsche to the New York Rangers for defencemen Fedor Tyutin and Christian Bäckman.[9] In his first season with the Rangers, Zherdev tied for the team lead in points with Scott Gomez, scoring 58 points.

As a restricted free agent, Zherdev was tendered a qualifying offer of $3.25 million by the Rangers before the start of the 2009 free agency period so the team could retain his rights as the two sides negotiate.[10] He had been rumored to be potentially signing with Atlant Moscow Oblast of the Kontinental Hockey League, of whom he formerly played with in 2006–07.[11] Zherdev was awarded $3.9 million (USD) in arbitration, however, the New York Rangers chose to let Zherdev go.


The aforementioned walkaway made Zherdev an unrestricted free agent. Zherdev signed on September 15, 2009 a one-year contract for Atlant Moscow Oblast.[12]

NHL return[edit]

On July 9, 2010, Zherdev signed a one-year deal for $2 million with the Philadelphia Flyers, setting up his return to the NHL.[13] With the Flyers, Zherdev scored his one hundredth career goal.

Back to KHL[edit]

Following the 2010-11 season, Zherdev returned to Atlant Moscow Oblast. In the 2012–13, he was announced as the team Captain. He played in 39 games registering an impressive 37 points before he was traded to Ak Bars Kazan on January 15, 2013, to complete the season.

After signing a one-year deal with HC Lev Praha in July 2013, Zherdev celebrated at the Barvikha Luxury Village hotel in Moscow where things turned violent, according to a Russian news report.[14] Zherdev allegedly initiated a bar brawl at the hotel before crashing his Bentley Continental GT, which was later vandalized by locals who were outraged with his behaviour and scratched the words "scum", "bastard", and others into the vehicle's paint with nails.[15] Damage to the vehicle was allegedly valued at $30,000. Barvikha Luxury Village hotel staff also claimed Zherdev spent nights there with various women, prompting his wife, Eugenia, to file for divorce.[14] Zherdev also lost his passport as a result of the incident, meaning that he could not fly to his new team's training camp in Finland.[16]

He was released from his contract with Lev and on September 24, 2013, he was signed to a one-year contract with HC Spartak Moscow.[17] After failing to score a goal in 16 games with the club, he was released by the team in mid-November before accepting a short-term deal with HC Severstal.

On July 14, 2014, Zherdev continued his journeyman career, in agreeing to a one-year contract with HC Dynamo Moscow for the 2014–15 season.[18]

International play[edit]

Nikolai Zherdev Finland-Russia IHWC 2012 Simifinal 19.05.2012.JPG
Zherdev representing Russia in 2012
Medal record
Representing Russia Russia
Men's ice hockey
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2012 Helsinki
Gold medal – first place 2009 Switzerland
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2003 Canada
World Under-18 Championships
Silver medal – second place 2002 Slovakia

Nikolai Zherdev represented Russia at the 2002 U-18 World Junior Championships, helping that country to a silver medal. He finished the tournament with 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points in 8 games (third best on his team, behind only Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin).

Zherdev also played at the 2003 U-20 World Junior Championships, registering only one assist in six games, playing a minor role in Russia's quest for the gold medal.

He was named captain of Team Russia for the 2004 World Juniors, but did not play after departing for the NHL.


Zherdev is fluent in Ukrainian and Russian, and can speak limited English.[19] His family lives in Kyiv.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1999–00 Elemash-2 Elektrostal RUS-3 21 10 7 17 26 7 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Elemash Elektrostal RUS-2 18 6 8 14 12
2001–02 Elemash-2 Elektrostal RUS-3 1 1 0 1 4
2001–02 Elemash Elektrostal RUS-2 53 13 15 28 62
2002–03 CSKA Moscow RSL 44 12 12 24 34
2003–04 CSKA Moscow RSL 20 2 2 4 14
2003–04 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 57 13 21 34 54
2004–05 CSKA Moscow RSL 51 19 21 40 62
2005–06 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 73 27 27 54 50
2005–06 Syracuse Crunch AHL 2 1 0 1 0
2006–07 Khimik Moscow Oblast RSL 8 2 4 6 10
2006–07 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 71 10 22 32 26
2007–08 Columbus Blue Jackets NHL 82 26 35 61 34
2008–09 New York Rangers NHL 82 23 35 58 39 7 0 0 0 2
2009–10 Atlant Moscow Oblast KHL 52 13 26 39 79 4 0 1 1 4
2010–11 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 56 16 6 22 22 8 1 2 3 2
2011–12 Atlant Moscow Oblast KHL 35 9 16 29 60 4 0 1 1 4
2012–13 Atlant Moscow Oblast KHL 39 13 24 37 20
2012–13 Ak Bars Kazan KHL 11 2 4 6 9 18 2 6 8 0
2013–14 Spartak Moscow KHL 16 0 7 7 2
2013–14 Severstal Cherepovets KHL 17 3 3 6 26
NHL totals 421 115 146 261 225 15 1 2 3 4
KHL totals 188 47 88 135 210 34 5 8 13 34


Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2002 Russia U18 2nd 8 6 5 11 22
2003 Russia WJC 1st 6 0 1 1 2
2009 Russia WC 1st 3 0 1 1 0
2012 Russia WC 1st 10 2 4 6 2
Junior totals 14 6 6 12 24
Senior totals 13 2 5 7 2


  1. ^ Jim Kelley (2003-12-09). "Zherdev's day off 'intentional'". Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  2. ^ Interview with Zherdev
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Aaron Portzline (2007-08-30). "New GM breaks the ice with Zherdev". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  7. ^ Tom Reed (2007-11-19). "Jackets notebook: Zherdev too good for words". Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  8. ^ "Blue Jackets re-sign Zherdev". 2006. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2006-09-28. 
  9. ^ "Columbus send Zherdev to the Rangers". 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  10. ^ Brooks, Larry (2009-06-28). "Offer for Zherdev, Antropov likely out". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  11. ^
  13. ^ "Flyers sign right wing Zherdev". Philadelphia Flyers. 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2010-07-11. 
  14. ^ a b QMI Agency (August 2, 2013). "Nikolai Zherdev brawls, crashes Bentley: Report". Québecor Média. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  15. ^ (August 2, 2013). "Hockey player Zherdev broke Bentley, noting the contract". Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  16. ^ (August 2, 2013). "Athletic Director "Leo": The contract with Zherdev are not going to dissolve". Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Nikolay Zherdev - new Spartak acquisition" (in Russian). HC Spartak Moscow. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  18. ^ "Zherdev signed a one-year contact with Dynamo" (in Russian). 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-14. 
  19. ^ "Zherdev shows his diversity". 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Rick Nash
Columbus Blue Jackets first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Alexandre Picard