What Ever Happened to Alexander Radulov?

Alexander Radulov has always been a mysterious case to hockey fans, from North America at least. He was once thought to be a top prospect and budding superstar in the NHL. Then, he got homesick and became a nightmare for the Nashville Predators to deal with. Years later, he’s still doing damage in Russia. In fact, he’s very likely the best player outside of the NHL today.

Check out: Alexander Radulov – Heart of a Canadien

In North America

He first came to North America in 2004 after being drafted by the Nashville Predators 15th overall the previous year. He decided to adapt to the North American style of play before jumping straight into the NHL. He was playing in the QMJHL for the Quebec Remparts. In his two years in Quebec, he absolutely tore apart the league, becoming a top NHL prospect. His QMJHL stats were 127 games played, putting up 93 goals and 134 assists for a grand total of 227 points… in just two years. In the playoffs of his second year, he accumulated an additional 21 goals and 34 assists for 55 points in only 23 games. Those are incredible numbers. He was looking like the saviour of the Nashville Predators organization.

Alexander Radulov Predators
Alexander Radulov was very successful during his time in North America. (Randy Sartin-US PRESSWIRE)

Then came his progression to the NHL. He began the 2006-07 season in the AHL with the Milwaukee Admirals. He promptly scored 18 points in 11 games, earning a promotion to the Nashville Predators roster. He put up 37 points in 64 games, a rookie season that surely would have been a 20-20 year had he played the entire season. In his sophomore season, he scored 26 goals and 32 assists in 81 games, a very good second year. He looked like he was transitioning well into the NHL, still well on his way to become a superstar in the league.

However, he then decided to take his talents back to Mother Russia, Ufa Salavet Yulayev to be exact. This had been known as a possibility from the day he was drafted, but after spending four years in North America, he appeared to be happy and destined to stay. To leave when he did was shocking and also detrimental to the future of the Nashville Predators franchise. He was supposed to be their first ever superstar, the best offensive player in their history. Instead, he went home.

Returning to Russia

Since returning to Russia, Radulov has been one of, if not, the best player the KHL has ever seen. The superstar developed his talents well and quickly became the superstar he was supposed to be in the NHL. He spent four years as a member of Ufa, setting the KHL record for most points in a single season with 80 in 2010-11.

After his fourth season, he decided to come back to Nashville for the playoffs. He scored four goals and nine assists in 17 regular season and playoff games. While some people may have thought he was back for good, they were wrong. He immediately returned to the KHL, signing a four-year contract with CSKA Moscow.

Leading the KHL

This season, Alexander Radulov is tearing up the KHL. He’s already held the record of most points ever in a single season for three years, and it looks like the only player who may be able to break that record is Radulov himself. So far in 2014-15, he’s already 8 points ahead of second place, despite playing in seven less games. With 58 points in 36 games, Radulov is on pace to score 87 points in 54 games, a total which would give himself a rather large gap on himself for the most ever points in a season.

As if that weren’t impressive enough, get this. Radulov is also leading the entire KHL in another category… penalty minutes. With 135 PIM, he is 51 minutes up on third place. Radulov has always been known as a player who can’t help but express his emotions and feelings however, sometimes he goes a little over the top. You could always ask this question though, would you really want your top player to play without immense passion for the game?  It’s safe to say Radulov has been an absolute force this year in the KHL, and the Nashville Predators are only dreaming they could still have this wondrous talent on their roster.

Radulov (CSKA) on the penalty bench
Alexander Radulov has been known to be extremely passionate in the game, sometimes he goes over the edge though.

Where is Radulov’s Future?

It’s hard to remember sometimes, considering his multiple years in international hockey, the QMJHL, NHL and the KHL as well, that Alexander Radulov is still only 28 years of age and still has a promising future ahead of him. Where that future will be is still a question many ask today. It’s no secret Radulov has a ridiculous amount of talent, and any NHL team would be more than happy to welcome him. Some teams even looked at the 2014 Sochi Olympics as a chance to see how Radulov had developed. Well, on possibly the most offensively talented hockey country on the planet, Radulov was the best. In Russia’s five games, he led them in both goals (3) and points (6), proving that had Radulov been in the NHL still today, he would be one of the best players in the league.

However, his future in the NHL looks extremely gloomy. Since returning to the KHL, Radulov has had nothing but tremendous success. He’s never once appeared to be unhappy with his situation, and of course, he makes equivalent to $9.2 million USD per year, a number similar to fellow Russian, Evgeni Malkin. By the time his current four-year contract is up, Radulov will be 30 years old and with the success he’s been having, it’s very unlikely the NHL will ever see Alexander Radulov again.

Do you think Radulov will ever return to the NHL? Discuss in the comments below!

11 thoughts on “What Ever Happened to Alexander Radulov?”

  1. Alexander Radulov

    some sample penalties– head-butting but gets excused because – well CSKA politics
    “In the 4th minute of Sunday’s game in Moscow between CSKA and Severstal, home forward Alexander Radulov was sent off for the remainder of the game after seemingly head-butting Cherepovets defenseman Kirill Sviyazov. On reviewing the incident, the KHL Disciplinary Committee saw no evidence of any foul play and has therefore rescinded the major plus game misconduct penalty (5+20 minutes) handed to Radulov. ”

    KHL reffing politics are pretty blatantly obvious. Especially in 2013/14 season.

    however when Jokerit entered, apparently they imposed a clean-up of dirty reffing, blind refs, etc

    CSKA forward Alexander Radulov, during Saturday’s game at Dynamo, received a misconduct penalty (10 minutes) to which was swiftly added a game misconduct penalty (20 minutes) for abusing the referees. Both the ten-minute and the subsequent twenty-minute penalty were Radulov’s third of the current season, and each incurs an automatic one-game ban for repeat offending. Alexander Radulov is therefore suspended for two games.

    that’s pretty awesome- almost as awesome as Mozyakin getting suspended. Miracles will never stop happening when Jokerit enters KHL

    CSKA’s Alexander Radulov has earned an automatic ban and as a result will miss Thursday’s game in St. Petersburg against SKA. The game misconduct for slashing handed to the forward during Wednesday’s home win over Lokomotiv was his second 20-minute penalty of the season, following an earlier dismissal against Salavat Yulaev, and the repeat offense incurs a mandatory one-game suspension.

    Doing good– no?
    Just think what head-butting or spearing or slew-footing would cost in the NHL, if you want to talk about “star power” –it’s very expensive for a team in bad press, if not lost skate time. Even Ovechkin has cleaned up a bit.

    Do you think really that Alexander Radulov would trade a secure protected position where he can do much as he damn well pleases and not even pay fines for misconduct? You got to be kidding. Give us a break.

    If you want to blog about the KHL, at least do some basic homework and know something about KHL or skaters here.

  2. just another breathless essay about some ex-NHL “star” which isn’t rally worth getting breathless about. First there is no credit to the team where Alexander Radulov skates which happens to be CSKA, so it’s not like he is superman skating alone and prima donna, although he does have temper. He also is way below Steve Moses in goals, so not exactly tearing up the KHL and he comes with a lot of baggage such as 155 OIM and it’s only halfway through the season.

    He’s not exactly visible on the ice– and fairly easy to contain or at least put in the penalty box, so not really the ideal skater. Given choices, Jan Kovar skates circles about him and is nearly impossible to contain. The PIM differential between Radulov and Kovar is pretty impressive as Kovar has a modest 34PIM–when he apologized to his brother, he truly meant it. So hate to tell you, but there are far better skaters in the KHL than Radulov and the problem you really don’t see is that it is the team together which makes the goals and points, not a single person.

    And when looking for a good skater, then Moses or Kovar will always bring up the goods because they understand they are part of a team. It’s a huge problem of US hockey mentality that you look for some “magic piece” or “star” player and then disregard that hockey is a team sport. No Radulov most likely will not ever move off CSKA- why should he unless he were to move to SKA? Or maybe you never ever thought that USSR dominated hockey a long long time and CSKA and SKA are kick-ass teams.

    Buy your shallow view of things both Nigel Dawes and Kevin Dallman are kicking ass in the KHL and both probably as noteworthy as Radulov–the difference is they’re from NA, not that bs NHL hype about “Russian stars” It is the obligation of all NA bloggers to trash NA skaters in the KHL, particularly the goalies, but what you might call trash, we appreciate as gold.

    But when you talk about performance, nobody performs in isolation– it also helps to have a great goalie and defensive team.

    The article is basic horseradish. If the USSR made sure their skaters were secured, believe me, Putin will make sure they’re happy because the KHL is his only good propaganda machine at the moment.

    You might have done better to look at team stats– then it might make you understand that hockey is a team sport

    Stephane de Costa might actually be of greater value because he doesn’t waste team time by sitting in the box. Actually, now there are penalties being imposed which never happened before– so even Radulov faces suspension– the innovations that Jokerit imposes on the KHL are nothing less than awesome.

    Who cries over Radulov? It;s like bloggers over in NJ whining about Kovalev…
    Might was well cry over Zherdev, too.

    As for “on possibly the most offensively talented hockey country on the planet, Radulov was the best.”

    Don’t make me puke. Reading and regurgitating too many BleacherReport columns can really kill anybody’s stomach. Give us a break.

  3. Stopped reading after this line-“the Nashville Predators are only dreaming they could still have this wondrous talent on their roster.” What a ridiculous fluff piece devoid of the ugly truths about one Alex Radulov.
    Thanks stinkpickles for setting that record straight. This guy screwed the franchise in a big way.

    • Everyone in the organization knew he was returning only to ride out the remainder of that season. If you look at both David Poile and Barry Trotz’s expressions when talking about his returning, you just knew it was all smoke and mirrors on Rad’s part. They had to pump him up, of course, in the media. It’s what the PR departments scripts for detrimental weasels like him. They were in a tough spot. Could they say “no thganks Alex, just stay there, it’s ok we’re fine”? no, of course not.

  4. Thanks Steve… I honestly feel his childish and very selfish bar hopping along with the other player he convinced to go out past curfew with him in Phoenix was most likely one of the biggest reasons the Coyotes did eliminate the Preds in the second round. The Predator’s had their best team ever (except perhaps this season’s edition) and without Alex probably would have went very deep into the 2012 playoffs, even possibly all the way to the Finals, at least. Thanks for the support, and enjoy your day.

  5. I think I’m finally to a place where I can say “Thank you, Radulov, for screwing the Preds over.” If Radulov is still here GMDP probably never makes the Forsberg for Erat trade. FF9 > AR47 x eleventy billion.

  6. I feel like the info STINKPICKLES gave should have been included in the article. As a Blues fan, I actually welcomed Radulov back for the playoffs in hopes of messing up the team chemistry that team had. Good luck with that guy!

  7. To continue… The ONLY reason he returned for the final few games of the 2012 regular season was to fulfill the final year of that contract. He had absolutely no intention of staying for any longer than necessary, and, seeing as the KHL season was over, why not? Not like he was doing anything anyways, so come back, give the Preds the last few games to finish up the contract, screw around in the playoffs at night clubs in Phoenix until the playoffs were over, then tuck tail and flee back to Mother Russia. He didn’t give 2 flips about the Predators or the playoffs, he was solely driven by greed and weaseling out of any NHL commitments. He’s now an NHL UFA, but you’ll never see him suit up here again, for one, why would he come back and make alot less than in the KHL, second, I highly doubt any team would take a flyer on him, not even Edmonton, Buffalo or Carolina. Good riddance Radulov!

  8. The KHL can have him. He would have been an amazing player for the Predators but his immaturity and antics far overshadowed his talent sometimes. As a Preds fan since day 1, it was disappointing when he left the team for Russia with 1 season left on his contract.

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