Sunday, June 26, 2016

Oleg Saprykin Autographed Card

When I wrote about Marc Savard yesterday, I briefly touched upon the trade that sent him from the New York Rangers to the Calgary Flames in exchange for Jan Hlavac, omitting the exchange of draft picks; with the 11th selection in the 1999 draft, the Flames selected Oleg Saprykin, who would go on to be a key piece of the team's failed 2004 Stanley Cup run, scoring an overtime goal in the Final.

He had his best point production as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes and came close to the point-per-game average while playing in the KHL, but he never really fulfilled the potential he had shown in Juniors, scoring 77 goals with 82 assists for 159 points in just 114 games spread over two seasons with the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds.

He did prove to be durable, however, as he still played this past season, with the KHL's Yekaterinburg Avtomobilist (with 6 points in 18 games) and Ufa Salavat Yulayev (one point and 10 penalty minutes in 15 games in the regular season and a point and 35 penalty minutes in 10 playoff games).

He signed this card for me in blue sharpie as a member of the Ottawa Senators in 2007 (after a game against the Montréal Canadiens), which now allows me to slot him into the #61 spot of my Flames Numbers Project:
That's card #193 from Upper Deck's 1999-2000 Series 1 set, showing him in Calgary's white (then-home) turn-of-the-millennium multi-geometric uniform; it also serves as his rookie card in the set and for the brand.

He reached his second Final in 2007 with the Sens before leaving for the KHL. He has also suited up for Team Russia twice at the World Championships, winning gold in 2009. He is also a KHL All-Star and won the Gagarin Cup in 2010-11 with Ufa.

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