Russian forward Alexander Svitov, known for his grinding style and aggressive physicality, today announced his retirement from pro hockey at age 38, after spending his final season in 2019-20 with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
The third overall pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2001 NHL Draft, the Omsk native joined the NHL in 2002 after his first four seasons with his hometown Avangard in the Russian league. However, his NHL success was short lived, with stints in the minor leagues, a trade to Columbus just two years into his career, and the NHL strike of 2004-05 hampering his production. After just four seasons in the NHL, Svitov returned to Avangard full-time in 2007, serving as captain in his three seasons with the Hawks. Svitov joined Salavat Yulaev Ufa in 2010, spending three seasons, another six seasons with Ak Bars Kazan (serving as captain for five of those years), and his final season with Lokomotiv. Svitov was a two-time Gagarin Cup champion, winning with Ufa in 2011 and Kazan in 2018, ending his RSL/KHL career with 243 points and 1,103 penalty minutes in 640 games.
First joining the national junior team at the 2000 World U18 Championships, Svitov appeared at both the 2001 and 2002 World Juniors, winning Gold at the latter and setting the tournament record for penalty minutes, notching 101 PIMs in 11 games over two tournaments. He first joined the national team in 2010 on the Euro Hockey Tour, later suiting up for the World Championships in both 2012 and 2013, winning Gold at the former. The 2013-14 Euro Hockey Tour would serve as his final national team stint, although he was named as a spare for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.
Svitov only captured the IHLC three times in his career – once each at the 2001 and 2002 World Juniors, and lastly with his 2012 World Championship title in Helsinki. We wish Alexander and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!