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Alexei Ponikarovsky: Wikis

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Born April 9, 1980 (1980-04-09) (age 29),
Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
Height
Weight
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Left wing
Shoots Left
NHL team
F. teams
Pittsburgh Penguins
Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Khimik Moscow Oblast (RSL)
St. John's Maple Leafs (AHL)
Dynamo Moscow (RSL)
Krylya Sovetov (RHL)
Ntl. team  Ukraine
NHL Draft 87th overall, 1998
Toronto Maple Leafs
Playing career 1998 – present
Website http://Poni23.com

Alexei Ponikarovsky (Ukrainian: Олексій Володимирович Понікаровський, translit. Oleksiy Volodymyrovich Ponikarovs'kyi; born April 9, 1980) is a Ukrainian Canadian[1] professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Contents

Playing career

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RSL

Ponikarovsky played for Dynamo 2 and Dynamo Jr., farm teams during 1995–99 campaigns, seeing a little action with the main club during the 1998–99 season and finally becoming a fixture on the team during the 1999–00 season when Dynamo won the Russian Superleague Championship.

In 1997–98, Ponikarovsky played 24 games for Dynamo Moscow in the First Division of the Russian Hockey League collecting three points with 30 penalty minutes. He then played 13 games for Krylya Sovetov of the Russian Elite League in 1998–99 and played three playoff games for Moscow Dynamo.

In 1999–00, Ponikarovsky played 19 games for Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Elite League and played 29 games for THK Tver in the First Division of the Russian Hockey League collecting 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) with 26 penalty minutes.

NHL

In the 2005–06 NHL season, Ponikarovsky put up career highs in goals, assists. points, and penalty minutes. He saw added responsibility and was given more ice-time, often with former Dynamo Moscow teammate Nik Antropov or Mats Sundin, and became one of the team's regular penalty-killers. Ponikarovsky finished the season with four shorthanded goals and 1 assist. His four shorthanded goals tied ten players, including teammate Matt Stajan, for eighth in the league.[2]

On December 16, 2006, Ponikarovsky notched a career high five points in Toronto's 9-2 victory of the New York Rangers, scoring two goals and assisting on three others. He is commonly referred to by his teammates as "The Poni Express" , "The Ukraine Train" or simply "Poni". On May 10, 2007, the Maple Leafs re-signed Ponikarovsky to a $6.315 million, 3 year contract.[3]

On March 2, 2010, Ponikarovsky was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Luca Caputi and Martin Skoula.[4]. Following the trade, he remained optimistic he would resume contract talks with Toronto in the off-season.[5] In his first game with the Penguins on March 6, 2010 against the Dallas Stars, he scored his first goal with his new club.

Off the ice

On June 7, 2007 Ponikarovsky became a Canadian citizen during a ceremony in Etobicoke, Ontario. Ponikarovsky lives in Toronto with his wife Inna, daughter Jessica and son Alex. He has favored wearing the number 23 as two of his grandparents were born on the 23rd, along with his wife.

Career statistics

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Krylya Sovetov RHL 13 2 1 3 2
1998–99 Dynamo Moscow RSL 3 0 0 0 2
1999–00 Dynamo Moscow RSL 19 1 0 1 8 1 0 0 0 0
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 22 1 3 4 14
2000–01 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 49 12 24 36 44 4 0 0 0 4
2001–02 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 72 21 27 48 19 5 2 1 3 8
2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 8 2 0 2 0
2002–03 St. John's Maple Leafs AHL 63 24 22 46 68
2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 13 0 3 3 11
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 73 9 19 28 44 13 1 3 4 8
2004–05 Khimik Moscow Oblast RSL 19 1 5 6 16
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 81 21 17 38 68
2006–07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 71 21 24 45 63
2007–08 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 66 18 17 35 36
2008–09 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 82 23 38 61 38
NHL totals 416 95 121 216 274 23 1 3 4 12

References

External links


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