Traditionally considered one of the top talent producers in Russia, Traktor had at its disposal also some of the best imports that ever hit the KHL’s ice. Three of the featured players helped Traktor reaching the Gagarin Cup finals in 2013.

Michael Garnett

G, Canada, 167 games, 92,1% saves percentage, 2,24 goals-against average

One of the longest-serving imports in the League's history, Michael Garnett signed in Russia before the KHL was established, joining Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk in the 2007 offseason. He will then move to the Moscow Region, where he will spend two years with HC MVD – reaching the Gagarin Cup finals for the first time in 2010 – and a further year with Dynamo. However, he played his best hockey in Chelyabinsk. Garnett was a big part in the 2013 team that made it to the Gagarin Cup. But once again, the Canadian goalie had to accept his defeat in spite of a stellar performance. Somewhat ironically, he lost to his former team Dynamo Moscow, but a GAA of 1.86 and his 93.3% save ratio are a real testament of his incredible play. In total, he played 167 regular-season games for Traktor, only trailing behind Vasily Demchenko. The native of Saskatoon played two further seasons in the League with Slovan and Medvescak before joining the English side Nottingham Panthers in 2017. Garnett hasn’t yet committed with a club for the upcoming 2019-20 campaign.

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Deron Quint

D, USA, 264 games, 115 (50+65) points

Just like Garnett, Deron Quint was also a big part in the 2013 postseason. And oddly enough, Quint was also first recruited in the KHL by Neftekhimik in 2009. After a season in Tatarstan, Quinn moved to Chelyabinsk, and in his first year there he led all the defensemen in the League with 21 goals – that season he scored as many goals as Alexei Morozov or Mattias Weinhandl, even one goal more than Alex Radulov and two more than Jaromir Jagr! The American defenseman never scored at such a pace, yet his role on the ice never diminished. After helping Traktor reaching the Gagarin Cup finals, Quint spent one year in Moscow, wearing both CSKA and Spartak’s jerseys. He will be back to Chelyabinsk for two further seasons, being elected the team’s captain in the 2015-16 campaign. However, that year wasn’t successful for Quint, who only scored twelve points and left the KHL as a result. The veteran blueliner – who played in two KHL All-Star games – hang them up in 2017 after a year in the DEL with EHC München.

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Nick Bailen

D, USA/Belarus, 118 games, 54 (18+36) points

With 54 points, Nick Bailen is the second top-scoring defenseman in Traktor’s KHL history behind Quint but played only 118 games. Many other blueliners played more than him but failed to exhibit such high production. The native of Fredonia, New York, started playing in the KHL for Dinamo Minsk, where his play was so appreciated that he gained citizenship and started representing Belarus on the international stage in 2016. After three seasons in the Belarusian capital, Bailen moved to Chelyabinsk, where his production didn’t slow down, especially in the first season. In the 2018-19 campaign, Traktor struggled to get the puck in the net, and it showed on the players’ stats. Bailen will finish the season with only 24 points. He will try to rebound back in 2019-20 when he returns for a third season in Chelyabinsk.

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Petri Kontiola

F, Finland, 150 games, 105 (42+63) points

The Finnish forward first landed in the Chelyabinsk Region in 2009, but that time he signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk, where he spent two seasons and showed himself as one of the top KHL scorers. Petri Kontiola moved to Chelyabinsk in 2011, where he was successful right away. In his second year, he was part of the team that got to the Gagarin Cup finals – he led Traktor with 10 goals and 19 points as the team was just one game to the final triumph. He will play another season in Chelyabinsk, being also a regular for Team Finland on the international stage, before trying to get an NHL spot in the 2014 offseason. He then went on playing five seasons with Lokomotiv, with alternating fortunes, before signing with Jokerit for the 2019-20 campaign.

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Paul Szczechura

F, Canada, 156 games, 98 (44+54) points

One of the top scorers among foreign players in the latest few seasons, Paul Szczechura first got to the KHL signing with HC Lev in 2012, but only played three games for the Czech franchise. He soon moved to Riga, where he played two seasons. Paul continued his career in the League with a two-year stint in Minsk, before signing with Traktor for the 2016-17 season. The native of Brantford, Ontario, had the reputation of a reliable two-way player who can find his way to the net – as he showed in both Riga and Minsk, where he surpassed twice the 35-point mark. But Szczechura showed his best hockey in Chelyabinsk, where he had two straight 40+ points seasons and earning a call to the 2018 KHL All-Star Game in Nur-Sultan. However, the Canadian’s production had hit an all-time low in 2018-19, when he scored only 15 points and Traktor failed to reach the playoffs. Next year, he will line up for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.

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