Once a fan favorite, always a fan favorite. That’s how I would describe Sergei Samsanov. Plus fast. Very, very fast. When Samsanov was with the Bruins from 1997-2004, he was one of the most electrifying wingers in the game, scoring 20 or more goals in four of those seven seasons.
In fact, Sergei had back-to-back 29 goal seasons in 2000-01 and 2001-02. His best overall season with the B’s came in that 2000-01 season, when he posted a career-high 46 assists to go along with those 29 goals, giving him 75 points for the season.
Drafted eighth overall by Boston in the 1997 NHL Draft (Bruins also got Joe Thornton first overall in the same draft), Samsanov quickly won over Boston fans after winning the Calder Memorial Trophy (rookie of the year). In his rookie season, Samsanov tallied 22 goals and assisted on another 25 goals.
However, Sergei’s stay in Boston had to come to end eventually. And on March 9, 2006, he was traded to the Edmonton Oilers, ending his seven year stint in Beantown. Samsanov’s offensive prowess helped the Bruins reached the playoffs five out of the seven years he was with the team, but they could never get past the second round.
Since being traded to the Oilers, Samsanov has been a journeyman. After spending one season in Edmonton, Sergei signed with the Montreal Canadiens for one season before being traded to the Chicago Blackhawks. After a short stay in the Windy City, Samsanov was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes, where he spent four seasons.
Sergei spent the 2010-11 season with the Florida Panthers and currently is an unrestricted free agent.
Although Samsanov never regained his explosive form he had in Boston, he still is remembered for his effective stickhandling skills and his elusiveness on skates.
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