Ben Fraser The Hockey Writers
Senators’ Top Scorers From Around the World
The Ottawa Senators have had the pleasure of welcoming many fantastic hockey players from around the globe. While in many cases, a franchise’s top scorers are usually made up of Canadians and Americans, the Senators have rostered a talented group of hockey players from around the globe.
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I have reviewed 10 of the top nations in hockey and listed the Senators player who has scored the most points from that country. For purposes of simplicity, I do not include the Russian Federation but have replaced them with the Soviet Union. The player I chose began his career for the Soviet National Team, and only three players born after the collapse of the USSR in 1991 have played in Ottawa. However, I do have a player from the Czech Republic, and one from Slovakia as one player never competed for the Czechoslovakian team. The other only played three games on a major stage for Czechoslovakia.
Sweden: Daniel Alfredsson
Daniel Alfredsson, the franchise leader in points with 1,108 is also the highest-scoring Swede in team history. Alfredsson played in Ottawa from the 1995-96 season to the 2013-14 season, and he was the best player on the team. As the team record holder in points, he also leads in goals with 426 and assists with 682.
Related: Ottawa Senators’ Daniel Alfredsson: Hall of Fame Worthy?
The Swede who hails from the hockey hotbed of Gothenburg has his rightful place on top of the Senators list of greatest players and became the first European captain to appear in a Stanley Cup Final when his Senators lost to the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. He also translated his leadership abilities to coaching, as he is currently coaching minor hockey in Sweden.
Ottawa has been well represented by Sweden over the last two decades, with two of the top three scorers in Ottawa’s history hailing from the Northern European nation. Alfredsson and fellow Swede Erik Karlsson are two of the best Ottawa players in history. The team has an excellent pipeline of Swedes that will soon be a fixture on the team.
Canada: Jason Spezza
Jason Spezza is the Senator from Canada who has the most points. He holds the distinct honour of being one of two Senators, alongside Dany Heatley, who averaged more than a point per game in Ottawa.
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In 686 games as a Senator, the native of Toronto, Ontario who almost chose to return to Ottawa this past season recorded 687 points, second in Senators history. (from “JASON SPEZZA: Why I chose Toronto over Ottawa” Ottawa Sun, 7/4/2019) He is also only one of three Senators to score 250 goals. He also holds the Sens record for assists in a season, when he had 71 during 2005-06.
Many great Canadians have played for Ottawa over the years, and with the amount of talent in the Canadian system, the Senators will continue to add more. The team will most likely have two top-five picks in the 2020 draft, so it’s possible a player like Alexis Lafreniere could be the next great Canadian on the roster.
Soviet Union: Alexei Yashin
For the Soviet Union, the leading Senators scorer is Alexei Yashin. The team’s first legitimate offensive dynamo came via the 1992 draft. In his rookie season, he set the pace for the Senators, setting a then-team record 79 points in his rookie season while finishing fourth in Calder Trophy voting. In all, Yashin played in Ottawa from the 1993-94 season to the 2000-01 seasons, recording 491 points.
The Senators have not had much luck with Russian players over the years. The local of Yekaterinburg, USSR (now Russia), had a messy separation from the team, sitting out a season in 2000 due to a contract dispute.
Related: Alexei Yashin Trade Revisited
The Russian factor seems to be a valid issue in Ottawa, as the only other within the top-50 scorers is Alex Kovalev, who only spent one and a half seasons in Ottawa.
Czech Republic: Radek Bonk
Representing the Czech Republic is Radek Bonk. A somewhat forgotten player actually had quite the successful career as a Senator. Taken third overall in 1994, he didn’t become the star that warranted his high selection but was still effective as a playmaking centre.
Born in Krnov, Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) Bonk was best known for his two-way hockey, as well as the mullet he rocked in the ’90s. In Ottawa, he recorded 399 points, good for sixth all-time in Senators history. While he briefly represented Czechoslovakia at the now-defunct IIHF European Junior Championships in 1993, he always represented the Czech Republic afterwards.
Related: Radek Bonk, the Senators’ Forgotten Star
Now Bonk is trying his hand at coaching in Ottawa. Back in 2016, he began coaching for the Kanata Lasers minor hockey system.
Slovakia: Marian Hossa
For Slovakia, Marian Hossa has the most points. Among the first Senators to become an offensive force in the NHL, he recorded 390 points in Ottawa, which is seventh in team history. For a few years, he had the team record for goals at 45 in 2002-03, which was only broken when Dany Heatley scored 50 in 2005-06.
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Often overlooked, he became notable for the trade that sent Heatley to the Senators, where Hossa became a star for Atlanta. While the native of Stara Lubovna, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) is best known for his time as a Chicago Blackhawk, it’s important to remember how good he was in Ottawa.
United States: Shawn McEachern
The leader in Senators points for the United States is forward Shawn McEachern. A Senator from 1996 to 2002, he was part of the early success of the late ’90s and early 2000s, consistently playing a scoring role. His play was rewarded with a 304-point career for the Sens, including a career-high 72 points during the 2000-01 season.
Like Russia, the Senators haven’t had much overall success with Americans. In recent years, that has changed as there are many fantastic Americans on the roster, as well as in the prospect pipeline. If Bobby Ryan is able to bounce back and return to a pace he previously enjoyed as a member of the Ducks, he’s likely to pass McEachern, as Ryan sits only 38 points behind. Other Americans like Colin White and Brady Tkachuk are also likely to pass McEachern at some point in the future.
Related: One-On-One With Shawn McEachern
So while McEachern is the American leader in points, it likely won’t be for long.
Finland: Sami Salo
The Finnish representative for points is defenseman Sami Salo. While best known as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, he spent four seasons as a Senator from 1998 to 2002. Despite his role as a defensive defenseman, he put up 69 points over his four seasons in Ottawa. With all the success that Ottawa has had with other European players, it is surprising that Salo is the highest Finn on this list.
Salo is 60th all-time in Senators scoring. The next closest Finn is Janne Laukkanen at 62nd and Jarkko Ruutu at 69th. These are the only Finns within the top 100 scorers.
Related: Sami Salo Wrist Injury Forces Retirement
Salo retired in 2015, while he was 40-years old, and his wrist was also a nagging injury over his career.
Germany: Christoph Schubert
Germany is not exactly an international hockey power, but a few players have made it to the NHL. For the Senators, the highest scoring German was Munich-born defenseman Christoph Schubert.
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Schubert played in Ottawa for four seasons and was a surprise for the Senators. He spent three seasons playing for the AHL affiliate Binghamton Senators where he made the NHL roster in 2005-06. Interestingly, he didn’t begin to break out until the next season. Over the next two seasons, Schubert put up 49 points, eventually ending his Ottawa career with 65 points, making him 63rd all-time.
German players are rare in the NHL, but Ottawa got one of the better ones. Schubert is currently 11th all-time in German NHL scoring. He recently retired, after playing out his final days back home in Germany.
Denmark: Peter Regin
Denmark is a country that has recently seen a big surge in NHL talent. The Danes have a few current NHL players, and Ottawa had one of the better ones before the country began sending them in larger numbers. Peter Regin, from the city of Herning, played for Ottawa partially through five seasons from 2008-09 to 2012-13. While he didn’t have a ton of points in Ottawa, he did have a 29-point campaign in 2009-10, by far his best NHL season. (from “Ottawa Senators sign Danish forward Peter Regin to a two-year contract,” Guelph Mercury Tribune, 7/29/10)
Regin finished his Ottawa career with 55 points, 72nd in Senators history and his 67 total points are seventh all-time for Danish NHL players. He is currently playing in the KHL, where he serves as captain of Jokerit in Helsinki, Finland.
Latvia: Sergei Zholtok
Latvian-born forward Sergei Zholtok, one of the better known Latvian players in the NHL, played 135 games for Ottawa over two seasons, where he put up 51 points. The 78th-overall scorer in team history actually had quite the career, placing second all-time in points for Latvian-born players with 258 career points. He likely would have been even more successful had tragedy not struck.
Unfortunately, Zholtok passed away on Nov. 2, 2004, at the age of 31 from heart failure. He had returned to Latvia during the NHL lockout and was playing for his local Riga team against Dinamo Minsk, where he collapsed and died.
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Only one other notable Latvian played for Ottawa; Rudolfs Balcers. Acquired in the Erik Karlsson trade, Balcers has shown promise in his limited playing time, getting 17 points in 51 games.
The Senators are represented quite well internationally considering the age of the franchise. The next generation is also very diverse in terms of their nationalities. So whoever the next big star of the Senators is, we can only guess where he will come from.
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