Left-winger Maxim Balmochnykh left his native Russia to join the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's Quebec Remparts for his final season of Junior. He scored nine goals and 31 points in 21 games which sufficiently impressed the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim brass who drafted him with their second pick.
The Ducks felt they had acquired a future scoring star that would compliment their two snipers, Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne and his professional career certainly started on the right note when he scored two goals in his debut with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. However Balmochnykh soon hit a road block when he was suspended for eight games following an ugly spearing incident. The skilled winger returned to play 40 games and was able to contribute 21 points. The big club in Anaheim also summoned him for a six-game audition. Balmochnykh was able to register one assist during his short stay in the NHL.
The next two campaigns were spent entirely in the minors with Cincinnati and Balmochnykh's numbers slipped each year, though he was limited to just 23 games in 2001-02. Despite being blessed with blazing speed, soft hands and a knack for being in the right place on the ice, Balmochnykh has been very slow to adjust to the more aggressive North American style and is quickly running out of time in the Ducks organization.