One of the League’s top teams, SKA often sought and obtained help from other countries. In the League’s history, the team won two Gagarin Cups and iced some of the finest imports to ever play in the KHL. St. Petersburg showed a great nose, especially with Nordic countries’ players.

Mikko Koskinen

G, Finland, 114 games, saves percentage 92,3%, goals-against average 2,03

Mikko Koskinen signed in the KHL first with Sibir Novosibirsk in 2013, who traded the towering netminder to St. Petersburg on December 2014 after playing about 80 games in Siberia. With SKA and better defense in front, Koskinen completed his path from a great goalie to an elite one. In his first season on the Neva’s shore, the Finn helped SKA winning its first Gagarin Cup. He repeated the feat two seasons later when he was once again instrumental for SKA. Moreover, he is also the goalie with most games played for St. Petersburg since the KHL was established. Such a strong play couldn’t go unnoticed along with national team staff, who called him at multiple IIHF World Championship and the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea. His accolades’ list includes the KHL Best Goalie and First All-Star Team honors in 2016 and one participation at the KHL All-Star Game (when he was still with Sibir Novosibirsk). Today, Koskinen stops pucks for the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL.

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Patrik Hersley

D, Sweden, 102 games, 81 (32+49) points

The Swedish Cannon is another player who was first brought to the KHL by Sibir Novosibirsk, where he played a successful season. After it, Patrik Hersley brought his powerful slapshot to Yaroslavl, where he didn’t live up to the expectations. The Swede started the 2016-17 season in Yaroslavl, but after scoring only once in seven games, the team moved him to St. Petersburg. In SKA, Hersley found his groove and started accumulating goals and assists playing a more offensive hockey where he could thrive. In 2017-18, no other defenseman scored like him with 14 goals, and he was called to the KHL All-Star Game. One year before, the Swede helped SKA to win its second Gagarin Cup. In those playoffs, he scored more than a point per game. In SKA’s KHL history, Hersley is the second scorer among defensemen, trailing only Dmitry Kalinin who, however, played more than two hundred games. The high-scoring defenseman, who also represented Sweden at the 2018 Olympic Games, will play the next season in Moscow, with Spartak.

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Tony Martensson

F, Sweden, 260 games, 192 (73+119) points

One of the longest-playing imports in the KHL history, Tony Martensson firstly got to the KHL with Ak Bars Kazan in the League’s inaugural season, where he won his first Gagarin Cup. He will repeat the feat six years later, helping SKA conquering the 2015 Gagarin Cup title. The playmaking forward spent five years in St. Petersburg, probably the best of his career. He was particularly in great shape in the 2011-12 campaign, when he scored 61 points, trailing only Alexander Radulov in the scoring list. That year, he was also called to the KHL All-Star Game in Riga, Latvia, and was awarded Gentleman Award honors. He also played more games than any other import in SKA and scored almost 30 points more than the next import in the scoring list, Patrick Thoresen. In his hardware collection, there is also the 2011 Spengler Cup. The SKA’s legend moved first to Switzerland, where he played two years for HC Lugano, then back home in Sweden, where he is still playing.

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Patrick Thoresen

F, Norway, 197 games, 170 (68+102) points

Probably one of the best players in the KHL history, Patrick Thoresen was first noticed by Salavat Yulaev Ufa, who signed him to his team in 2009 after a stellar season with HC Lugano in Switzerland. In Ufa, Thoresen was phenomenal and helped the Green jerseys to win the 2011 Gagarin Cup. As a fresh champion, the Norwegian moved to St. Petersburg, where he kept on scoring at a tremendous pace and being then promoted to the alternate captain position in 2013. Finally, Thoresen won his second Gagarin Cup in 2015. In the meantime, other than scoring tons of points, he accumulated awards, including on the international stage, where he was a fixed feature with Norway at both World Championships and Olympics. After four years with SKA, the Viking moved first to Sweden, then to Switzerland, just to sign back in Norway in 2017. However, his history with SKA wasn’t over yet, as he signed again in St. Petersburg for a second stint in sight of the 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea. Thoresen will stay forever in Salavat Yulaev and SKA fans’ heart and is now back to his native Storhamar for yet another season of hockey in the Norwegian league.

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Mattias Weinhandl

F, Sweden, 99 games, 86 (34+52) points

Mattias Weinhandl played in St. Petersburg only two seasons, but at those times, he was one of the most dangerous forwards in the League. The winger had a fantastic shot and caused havoc around the opposition goalies almost every time he had the puck in the offensive zone. After two incredible seasons with Dynamo Moscow, where he even deserved a call to the Olympic Games in Vancouver, SKA decided to exert its influence and grab the forward within its ranks. He didn’t disappoint and scored almost a point per game in both two seasons in St. Petersburg. He was particularly efficient in his first campaign on the Neva’s shores, when he made the KHL All-Star Game and helped SKA to win the historical Spengler Cup in Switzerland. After four seasons in the League, he moved to Sweden signing with Linkoping, where he will retire in 2014.

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