Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ruslan Salei
Not known as a scoring defenseman, Ruslan Salei is known as a player who plays a physical game. After playing for several seasons in Belarus, Salei signed with the IHL's Las Vegas Thunder for the 1995-96 season.

With only one season in North America under his belt, Salei was the Anaheim Mighty Ducks first pick, ninth overall in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, a draft which saw 13 of the 26 players in the first round selected as defencemen.

Salei would play 30 games with the Ducks in the 1996-97 season, scoring only a single point. He also spent time in both the AHL with the Baltimore Bandits and back with his old IHL team in Las Vegas. The next season saw him become a blueline mainstay as he appeared in 66 games for the Ducks.

In 2002-03 Salei was a key player in the Ducks run to the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, only to lose a hard-fought seven game series to the New Jersey Devils.

Following his stint with Anaheim, Salei signed as a free agent with the Florida Panthers in the summer of 2006. In his first season with Florida, Salei set a new NHL career high in goals (6) assists (26) and points (32) and was only one of six Panthers to appear in all 82 games. The following season the physical defenseman picked up where he left off, recording 23 points in 65 games prior to being dealt at the NHL trading deadline. The trade sent Sealei, an 11-year veteran, to the Colorado Avalanche for Karlis Skrastins.

On the international stage, Salei has represented his homeland at the World Championships on several occasions and the Winter Olympics (1998, 2002 and 2010).

On August 9, 2010, Salei signed a one-year deal with the rival Detroit Red Wings as an unrestricted free agent.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1992-93 Dynamo Moscow CIS 9 1 0 1 10
1993-94 Tivali Minsk CIS 39 2 3 5 50
1993-94 Belarus WC-C 6 1 1 2 10
1994-95 Tivali Minsk CIS 51 4 2 6 44
1994-95 Belarus WC-C 4 0 1 1 4
1995-96 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 76 7 23 30 123 15 3 7 10 18
1996-97 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 30 0 1 1 37 -8
1996-97 Baltimore Bandits AHL 12 1 4 5 12
1996-97 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 8 0 2 2 24 3 2 1 3 6
1997-98 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 66 5 10 15 70 +7
1997-98 Cincinnati Mighty Ducks AHL 6 3 6 9 14 +1
1997-98 Belarus Olympics 7 1 0 1 4
1997-98 Belarus WC-A 2 1 0 1 2
1998-99 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 74 2 14 16 65 +1 3 0 0 0 4
1999-00 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 71 5 5 10 94 +3
1999-00 Belarus WC-A 6 0 1 1 4 -6
2000-01 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 50 1 5 6 70 -14
2000-01 Belarus WC-A 6 0 1 1 31 -1
2001-02 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 4 7 11 97 -10
2001-02 Belarus Olympics 6 2 1 3 4 -6
2002-03 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 61 4 8 12 78 +2 21 2 3 5 26
2003-04 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 82 4 11 15 110 -1
2003-04 Belarus WC-B 5 3 4 7 2 0
2004-05 Ak Bars Kazan Russia 35 8 12 20 36 4 0 0 0 2
2004-05 Belarus Oly-Q 2 1 0 1 2 -1
2005-06 Mighty Ducks of Anaheim NHL 78 1 18 19 114 +17 16 3 2 5 18
2006-07 Florida Panthers NHL 82 6 26 32 102 -13
2007-08 Florida Panthers NHL 65 3 20 23 75 -5
2007-08 Colorado Avalanche NHL 17 3 4 7 23 +1 10 1 4 5 4
2007-08 Belarus WC-A 5 0 2 2 6 +3
2008-09 Colorado Avalanche NHL 70 4 17 21 72 -4
2009-10 Colorado Avalanche NHL 14 1 5 6 10 -1 1 0 0 0 0
2009-10 Belarus Olympics 4 1 0 1 0 +2
2009-10 Belarus WC-A 6 1 1 2 8 -1
2010-11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 75 2 8 10 48 0 11 1 0 1 0
NHL Totals 917 45 159 204 1065 62 7 9 16 52


Signed as a free agent by Kazan (Russia), October 20, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Florida, July 2, 2006. Traded to Colorado by Florida for Karlis Skrastins and Colorado's 3rd round choice (Adam Comrie) in 2008 Entry Draft, February 26, 2008. Missed majority of 2009-10 due to back injury at Nashville, October 8, 2009. Signed as a free agent by Detroit, August 9, 2010. Signed as a free agent by Yaroslavl (KHL), July 5, 2011.