The last time a young hockey player in North America made it to the NHL was in 1987, when Montreal Canadiens winger Steve Yzerman scored a goal in his first game against his hometown Winnipeg Jets.
The following year, NHL star Alexei Kovalev scored the winning goal in overtime in his debut game against the Buffalo Sabres.
That year, New Jersey Devils forward Alexei Kuznetsov became the first Russian to score in the NHL.
The Russian-born Yzermovich also played in the U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1988 and 1990, before joining the Los Angeles Kings in 1993.
He retired as a defenseman in 2002 and spent the next 10 years playing for the Philadelphia Flyers and the Arizona Coyotes.
Yzeman was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004.
In 2018, the Washington Capitals acquired Yzemerev from the Arizona Avalanche for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.
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