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Valeri Kharlamov No. 17


Russian hockey legend Valeri KharlamovValeri Kharlamov is considered by many to be the greatest Russian hockey player of all time. Like The Great One, Kharlamov wasn't very big in stature, and like No. 99, his lack of size was more than compensated for by creativity and a surreal understanding of the game.


While being one of the top players in the Soviet Championship League (USSR All Star 1971-1976, 1978), and distinguished in international play (IIHF All Star 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976), Kharlamov truly excelled in matchups versus NHL stars during the classic hockey battles of the 1970s. In the 72 Summit Series between Canadian stars and Soviet stars, Kharlamov quickly emerged as the best of the best. He dominated play in the first five games against Team Canada and was only silenced via an Valeri Kharlamov versus Team Canada infamous attack by Broad Street Bully Bobby Clarke. Several years later, at Super Series 76, the "respected" Russian star was once again targeted. This time it was during a matchup between his Red Army club (CSKA Moscow) and the Philadelphia Flyers. In this instance it was another Broad Street Bully, Ed Van Impe, who laid a brutal hit on Khalamov. The hit rendered No. 17 unconscious and led to a brief delay in the game while his teammates left the ice in protest.


Immediately following the 76 Super Series, and still in the prime of his career, Kharlamov was injured in the first of two serious car accidents. Injuries forced him to miss the 1976 Canada Cup, and while he eventually recovered, he never really regained his prior form. On August 27, 1981, the Russian superstar was involved in a second, more fateful auto accident. Along with his wife Irina, Valeri Kharlamov perished in the accident, at the very young age of 33.


While his life was extinguished, No. 17s legacy has never been forgotten. Along with several poignant monuments, he has a Youth Sports School named in his honor, a Division within the Kontinental Hockey League named in his honor, as well as the Kharlamov Trophy, an award presented yearly to the NHL's most outstanding Russian player.




Valeri Kharlamov Facts


Position: Left Wing

Shot: Left

Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)

Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)

Date of Birth: Jan. 14, 1948

Place of Birth: Moscow, USSR

Date of Death: August 27, 1981

Pro Hockey Club: CSKA Moscow

Team Championships

  • 11 USSR Championships
  • 8 World Championships
  • 2 Olympic Gold Medals

Individual Awards

  • USSR League MVP
    • 1972, 1973
  • USSR All Star
    • 1971-1976, 1978
  • USSR League Most Goals
    • 1971 (40 goals)
  • USSR League Most Points
    • 1972 (42 points)
  • IIHF Best Forward
    • 76 World Championship
  • IIHF All Star
    • 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976
  • Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
    • inducted in 2005
    • one of only two non-NHL players in the Hall of Fame - the other being Vladislav Tretiak






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Valeri Kharlamov silver commemorative coin



Soviet hockey star Valeri Kharlamov




Valeri Kharlamov Videos


72 Summit Series Goal



Soviets leading (3 games to 1) in 72 Summit Series



Valeri Kharlamov Honored



Valeri Kharlamov: 1948-1981




Valeri Kharlamov Statistics