Since making his NHL debut in 1994-95, Oleg Tverdovsky has developed into a dangerous offensive force. His skating, puck handling, and lethal shot have made him a dangerous foe on the power play as well as five-on-five.
Born in Donetsk, USSR, Tverdovsky played in the CIS league with Krylja Sovetov. He was chosen second overall by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in 1994 and played a few games for the Brandon Wheat Kings of the WHL during the owner's lockout. He suited up for 36 games once the season resumed and showed impressive offensive skill.
Two-thirds of the way through the 1995-96 season he was part of the package sent to the Winnipeg Jets for star forward Teemu Selanne. Tverdovsky remained with the franchise when it relocated to Phoenix in 1996-97 and scored a career high 55 points. His development was curtailed after a contract holdout in 1997-98, but he bounced back to play the best defensive hockey of his career in 1998-99. Prior to the 1999-00 season, the talented blueliner returned to Anaheim in exchange for Travis Green and a first round draft pick. Tverdovsky topped the 50-point mark in 2000 and 2001 and injected life into the club's power play. He also ignored a series of nagging injuries to lead the Ducks with an average of nearly 25 minutes of ice time per game in 2000-01.
The smooth skating defenceman went on to play one more season with the Ducks before he was acquired by the New Jersey Devils in the summer of 2002. Injuries plagued Tverdovsky in his first season with the Devils, limiting him to a mere 50 regular season games before helping the Devils capture their third Stanley Cup in nine years in a hard fought seven game series against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.
Coming off a Stanley Cup in 2003, Tverdovsky opted to return to his homeland and play in the Russian Elite League in 2003-04 and 2004-05 before having his NHL rights acquired by the Carolina Hurricanes in the summer of 2005. In his first year with the Hurricanes Tverdovsky was a regular in the team's line up lacing up for 72 games in 2005-06. In the playoffs that year, after beating his former teammates the New Jersey Devils and advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, Tverdovsky found himself in familiar territory. A thrilling seven-game series followed and led to the Hurricanes first ever Stanley Cup, for Tverdovsky it was his second Cup in three years.
Prior to the start of the 2006-07 season, Tverdovsky was sent to the Los Angeles Kings with prospect Jack Johnson for Tim Gleason and Eric Belanger.
On the international stage, Tverdovsky has represented Russia at the 1994 World Junior Championships, the 1996 World Cup, the 2002 Winter Olympics and the 1996 and 2004 World Championships.