Skip to main content

Vitaly Vishnevskiy

At 6'2" and 200lbs, Vitaly Vishnevskiy was an average sized defenseman by NHL standards. But he didn't let that stop him from playing like a wrecking ball.

Aided by his strong mobility on skates, Vishnevskiy was a highly sought after player in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. The Anaheim Ducks picked him 5th overall, passing on the flashier likes of Manny Malhotra, Alex Tanguay and Nikolai Antropov. Vishnevskiy was described as "a loose cannon" and drew comparisons to Darius Kasparaitis.

After being named the top defenseman at the 1999 World Junior Championships (which Russia won) the Anaheim Ducks wanted to get this mighty prospect in their fold as soon as possible. Aside from a 30 game apprenticeship stint in the minors, Vishnevskiy was a mainstay in Anaheim for the next six seasons.

The freight train from Ukraine was a huge hit with Anaheim fans. Let's take a look at a couple of gems from Vishnevskiy:

One would never question Vishnevski's enthusiasm for the physical game, though he could be almost too exuberant at times. He could be guilty of times of looking for the big hit and losing his positioning rather than playing a safer game. Such is life with highlight reel hitters who, one way or another, have a big "impact" on the game.

In 2006 Vishnevskiy would leave Anaheim and bounce around the league a little bit - joining Atlanta, New Jersey and Nashville for brief appearances. In 2008 he would go home to Russia to continue playing for several years.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M