December 7, 1963|
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Height||6 ft 3 in (191 cm)|
|Weight||209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)|
Krylya Sovetov Moscow|
|National team||Soviet Union|
252nd overall, 1988|
Sergei Vasilievich Pryakhin (sometimes Priakin; born December 7, 1963) is a Russian former ice hockey forward who played 20 seasons in several leagues. He is a former captain of Krylya Sovetov Moscow (Soviet Wings) of the Soviet League and is best known in North America for being the first Soviet given permission to play in the National Hockey League (NHL). He joined the Calgary Flames in 1989 and played parts of three seasons in the NHL. Pryakhin returned to Europe in 1991 where he spent three seasons in Switzerland with Zürcher SC, then four in Finland with Kiekko-Espoo. He also played with the Oji Eagles in Japan for one year before returning to Kryla for a final season before retiring in 2000.
Internationally, Pryakhin was a member of the Soviet national team. He appeared in two World Junior Championships and won a gold medal in 1983. He was a member of two World Championship teams, winning a silver medal in 1987 and gold in 1990. Pryakhin was also a member of the second place Soviet team at the 1987 Canada Cup.
|Representing Soviet Union|
|Men's ice hockey|
|World Junior Championship|
|1983 Soviet Union|
Pryakhin's top level career began in 1980 when he appeared in one Soviet League for Krylya Sovetov Moscow (better known in North America as the Soviet Wings). He joined the team full-time in 1981–82 as a 17-year-old, appearing in 43 games for the Wings. Pryakhin's debut with the Soviet national team came the 1982 World Junior Hockey Championship in a fourth-place finish. He returned for the 1983 tournament and scored six points in seven games to help the Soviets win the gold medal.
A mid-level player on both the Wings and the national team, Pryakhin's best seasons in the Soviet league came in 1983–84 when he scored 18 goals, and 1986–87 when he had 32 points. He ultimately rose to become captain of the Wings. He was a member of a Soviet squad that won a silver medal at the 1987 World Championship and finished as runners-up to Canada at the 1987 Canada Cup.
The National Hockey League (NHL)'s Calgary Flames, anticipating that it would be easier to convince the Soviet Hockey Federation to release a non-star member of their national team to play in North America, opted to select Pryakhin with the 252nd, and last, pick in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. The Soviets began negotiations with the Flames in February 1989, and he signed a contract with Calgary on March 29. He became the first Soviet player permitted by his national federation to play in the NHL. Pryakhin made his NHL debut on March 31 against the Winnipeg Jets. He was the second Soviet player to appear in an NHL game, following Victor Nechayev. Pryahkin appeared in the Flames' final two games of the regular season, and one game of the 1989 playoffs as the Flames went on to win the Stanley Cup. He did not play enough games or in the finals so his name was left off the Cup. Calgary did give Pryakhin a Stanley Cup ring, and included him on the team picture.
Pryahkin scored his first NHL goal on October 10, 1989, against the New Jersey Devils. He appeared in 20 games with the Flames in 1989–90 and scored 2 goals and 4 points. He added 1 goal and 6 assists in 24 games in 1990–91 and made appearances with the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Calgary's International Hockey League affiliate in both seasons. Internationally, Pryahkin appeared in three games and won a gold medal with the Soviet team at the 1990 World Championship.
Returning to Europe in 1991–92, Pryahkin joined Zürcher SC of the Swiss top division. He was a member of the team for three seasons, splitting 1992–93 with Krylya Sovetov in his Russian home, before moving onto the Finnish SM-liiga for four seasons with Kiekko-Espoo. Pryahkin spent a season in Japan in 1998–99 before closing out his career with Krylya Sovetov in the Russian second division in 2000.
Regular season and playoffs
|1979–80||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1980–81||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||1||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1981–82||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||43||4||5||9||23||—||—||—||—||—|
|1982–83||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||35||11||9||20||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|1983–84||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||44||18||13||31||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|1984–85||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||32||14||9||23||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1985–86||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||39||12||13||25||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1986–87||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||40||12||20||32||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|1987–88||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||44||10||15||25||16||—||—||—||—||—|
|1988–89||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||44||11||15||26||23||—||—||—||—||—|
|1989–90||Salt Lake Golden Eagles||IHL||3||1||0||1||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|1990–91||Salt Lake Golden Eagles||IHL||18||5||12||17||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|1992–93||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||Soviet||20||4||4||8||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Krylya Sovetov Moscow||RUS-2||23||4||5||9||14||—||—||—||—||—|
- Career statistics: "Sergei Priakin player card". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- "Sergei Priakin player card". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- Podnieks, Andrew, ed. (2011). IIHF Guide & Record Book 2012. International Ice Hockey Federation. p. 508. ISBN 978-0-7710-9598-6.
- Mifflin, Lawrie (1989-03-30). "N.H.L. team signs first Soviet player, and he's a surprise". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- Cotton, Crosbie (1989-04-10). "A red-letter day". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
- Duhatschek, Eric (1989-04-01). "Priakin loves playing in 'Dome". Calgary Herald. p. G1.
- Halls, Pat, ed. (1990). 1990–91 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club.