Here are SI's choices for the top players at each position to come to the NHL from the former Soviet Union.
RW Pavel Bure, PANTHERS
He beats out Alexander Mogilny, who had 36 more NHL goals through Sunday but hasn't sustained his brilliance. Along with Jaromir Jagr, Bure is an MVP candidate this season.
C Sergei Fedorov, RED WINGS
He doesn't think the game as well as teammate Igor Larionov, whose best years were in the U.S.S.R., but Fedorov won the Hart and Selke trophies and remains an impact player.
LW Dmitri Khristich, MAPLE LEAFSAlthough he is struggling this season with only II goals, Khristich was a productive scorer-averaging .36 goals per game—with three previous NHL teams.
D Vladimir Konstantinov, RED WINGS
A limousine accident six days after Detroit won the Stanley Cup in 1997 cut short the career of this nasty hitter, who was a second-team NHL All-Star in '95-96.
D Sergei Zubov, STARS
A superb power-play quarterback whose two Stanley Cups, with the Rangers in 1994 and the Stars in '99, give him the nod over freelancing Sandis Ozolinsh.
G Arturs Irbe, HURRICANES
He gets the edge over the Coyotes' unsigned restricted free-agent, Nikolai Khabibulin, because Irbe has won a playoff series, in 1994, for the Sharks.