Big, strapping defenseman was the first selection the Buffalo Sabres made in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft but he would play just 12 games for them before he was shipped out of town in a major trade made during the shortened 1994-95 campaign.
The Sabres had a redundancy in goal as a result of the emergence of Dominik Hasek and were prepared to trade veteran net minder Grant Fuhr. When the deal finally materialized, it was a blockbuster, and it included the young Russian defenseman. Off to Los Angeles was Denis Tsygurov, Grant Fuhr and Phillipe Boucher and heading to Buffalo were Alexei Zhitnik, Robb Stauber, veteran defenseman Charlie Huddy and a 5th round draft pick.
In L.A., Tsygurov was given more of an opportunity to play suiting up for the 21 games following the trade, though he did little to impress by responding with no points and a -2 plus/minus rating. The next season Tsygurov played 18 more games, and this time added some offense to his game with 1 goal and 5 assists. However, it wasn't enough to keep him in the National Hockey League. Tsygurov played 17 games in the minors that year as well and also returned to Russia for a handful of matches.
With his NHL prospect status fading quickly Tsygurov returned to Europe for the 1996-97 campaign splitting his time between Russia and the Czech Republic. In 1997-98 he was back in North America but he played just 15 games that entire season so the move did little to improve his chances of a return to the big leagues. After not playing at all in 1998-99, he returned to Russia the following year, this time for good.
The hulking blue liner elected to play out his career on home soil spending his final season of play with three different Russian clubs.