|Born:||Sept. 18, 1968||Draft:||1990, New Jersey Devils, #221 Overall|
|Known For:||Game 7 of 1994 Eastern Conference Final||Shoots/Catches:||Left|
Valeri Mikhailovich Zelepukin (Russian: Валерий Михайлович Зелепукин; born 17 September 1968) is a Russian former professional ice hockey player who played in the NHL for the New Jersey Devils, Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks between 1991 and 2001. Born in Voskresensk in the former Soviet Union, he was drafted 221st overall in the 11th round by the Devils in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and went on to play 595 regular season games, scoring 117 goals and 177 assists for 294 points. He also picked up 527 penalty minutes.
Zelepukin scored his most famous goal while with New Jersey in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals against the arch-rival New York Rangers. With 7.7 seconds left on the clock and the Rangers leading 1-0, teammate Claude Lemieux centred the puck to Zelepukin in front of the net. After a couple of attempts, Zelepukin buried the puck past Ranger goaltender Mike Richter to tie the game. Richter protested to referee Bill McCreary that he had been interfered with, but the goal stood. Zelepukin’s goal went for nought, however, when New York’s Stéphane Matteau scored a dramatic wrap-around goal on Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur in double-overtime to win the game and the series for the Rangers. The Rangers would go on to defeat the Vancouver Canucks to win their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, but Zelepukin and the Devils redeemed themselves the next year, when they won their first Stanley Cup championship in a four-game sweep of the Detroit Red Wings.
Zelepukin also coached KHL team Metallurg Novokuznetsk during the 2016-17 season. However, Zelepukin was fired after the team had a 1-8-0 record.
Valeri Zelepukin Statistics
- The 1995 New Jersey Devils — Where Are They Now?
- Top 10 Players Who Played For Both Devils And Flyers
- Devils Draft Pick Gems
- Long Island Royals (MetJHL)- Assistant Coach 2010-2011
- Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL)- Sports Manager 2013-2017
- Metallurg Novokuznetsk (KHL)- Head Coach 2016-2017
- Severstal Cherepovets (KHL)- General Manager 2017-2019
- U20 WJC Silver Medal 1987-1988
- World Championship Bronze Medal 1990-1991
- NHL Rookie of the Month (January) 1991-1992
- NHL Stanley Cup Champion 1994-1995
- Olympic Silver Medal 1997-1998
- World Championship Top 3 Player on Team 2003-2004