Dimitrij Kotschnew 24 and 3 with Lokomotiv in 2010-2011
Imports from Germany are relatively a rarity in the KHL, even if many players from there exhibited excellent results. Germany is the only country featured in this article to send a high-level goalie to the KHL. Kazakhstani-born Dimitrij Kotschnew played four seasons in the league, with Spartak, Lokomotiv, and Atlant. In his first season in the KHL, Kotschnew had the best over Evgeny Konobry and Martin Prusek, followed by a solid performance for Spartak in 2009-2010. But the best for Kotschnew was yet to come. The veteran goalie, who lined up for Germany at five IIHF WCs, moved to Lokomotiv and had a career-high 24 wins and three shutouts for the Railwaymen. However, in the playoffs, Lokomotiv had to surrender to Atlant, who will lose to Salavat Yulaev in the finals. Ironically, Kotschnew moved to Mytischi for the 2011-2012 campaign. Still, in the Moscow Region, he lost the competition to Konstantin Barulin — who was named the playoff’s MVP the year before — then left the KHL. After four seasons in Hamburg, Kotschnew called it a career in 2016. Another goalie with a similar background, Dimitri Patzold, played one game for Vityaz in 2008 before returning to Germany, where he still plays.
Philip Larsen 38 (11+27) in 54 games with Salavat Yulaev in 2017-2018
Jesper Jensen 15 (3+12) in 53 games with Jokerit in 2016-2017
One of the best defensemen of the last few years, Philip Larsen, first came to the KHL signing a contract with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk. After his adventure in the oil-rich region of the Western Siberia, Larsen moved to Jokerit, where he had a productive season — actually his second-best in the KHL. After a year in the NHL with the Vancouver Canucks, the Dane’s rights were moved to Salavat Yulaev in exchange for the rights on D-man Tim Erixon and forward Niklas Jensen. The trade paid off for the Bashkortostan franchise, which secured one of the best blueliners available on the market. In his top season, the 2018-2019 campaign, Larsen netted 11 goals and produced 38 points for the Ufa franchise, for which he will play the next season.
Jokerit always had a good nose for Danish players, and they showed it again, signing Jesper Jensen back in 2015. The defensive-minded blueliner played four seasons with the Jokers with a career-high of 15 points in 2016-2017. Jensen, who is one of the players with most appearances with the Danish national jersey, returned to Sweden in 2019.
Oliver Lauridsen +23 in 55 games with Jokerit in 2018-2019
Jesper Jensen +11 in 49 games with Jokerit in 2018-2019
It’s not a surprise to see Oliver Lauridsen leading the way in this department. The imposing defenseman gathered an impressive +31 in the playoffs and was among the toughest players to line up for the Jokers. However, after his contract run out in April, he moved to Sweden for the upcoming 2020-2021 campaign, where he will meet again with his fellow countryman Jesper Jensen in a five-man Danish defensemen contingent.
Stephane Da Costa 62 (30+32) in 46 games with CSKA in 2014-2015
Peter Regin 48 (18+30) in 57 games with Jokerit in 2016-2017
Brooks Macek 46 (24+22) in 61 games with Avtomobilist in 2019-2020
France and Germany didn’t provide any D-man to the KHL but had their remedies in the forward positions. One of the most talented imports in the KHL, Stephane Da Costa had a record-breaking 62 points with CSKA in only 46 regular-season games. Even more impressively, Da Costa had this breakthrough season at his first appearance in the KHL. In most of his next seasons, the Frenchman had to battle with injuries, which limited his contribution and production on the ice. After leaving CSKA in 2017, Da Costa spent a year in Switzerland, then returned to the KHL signing with Avtomobilist. After lining up with Lokomotiv last season, Da Costa signed a one-year deal with Ak Bars Kazan.
Peter Regin was yet another example of Jokerit’s excellent feeling with Danish players. The native of Herning got to the KHL in 2015, when he was an alternate captain for the Jokers. In his debut season in the league, Regin posted 48 points as much as he did in the second attempt; but this time, he was wearing the “C” on his jersey. Regin’s production went down in the next two years, including an injury-plagued 2018-2019 campaign. However, the Dane’s production rebounded back in 2019-2020, when he reached the 40-point mark for the third time in his KHL career. After captaining Jokerit for four seasons, Regin will move on with a new challenge as his deal in the Finnish capital expired.
A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Brooks Macek first moved to Europe in 2013, just 21, as he signed in the German DEL. After five seasons in Germany, where he then acquired citizenship and started representing the national team in 2015, Macek played a further season in North America before joining Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg in 2019. The forward, who faced Russia in the 2018 Olympic Games finals, took the league by the storm, scoring six points in his first four games — including a double against SKA in early September. After a convincing first-year campaign, Macek will line up again for the Urals franchise in the upcoming 2020-2021 season.
Stephane Da Costa 30 in 46 games with CSKA in 2014-2015
Brooks Macek 24 in 61 games with Avtomobilist in 2019-2020
Niklas Jensen 21 in 48 games with Jokerit in 2018-2019
We’ve already talked about Da Costa and Macek, and it’s not a surprise to see Niklas Jensen as the top Danish goalscorer. Moreover, if it wasn’t for injuries, he would have probably surpassed Macek. Jensen first came to Jokerit in 2017 after seven seasons in North America. He scored 19 goals in his debut year in the KHL, then had his top season with 21. Last year, the Dane scored 15, but in a mere 27 games as his season was cut short by an injury. Jensen is also known for his streaks — multiple times, he scored 10+ consecutive games with at least a point. The flashy Danish scorer will line up for the Jokers in the upcoming 2020-2021.
Stephane Da Costa 32 in 46 games with CSKA in 2014-2015
Peter Regin 31 in 60 games with Jokerit in 2015-2016
Felix Schutz 22 in 54 games with Admiral in 2013-2014
Brooks Macek 22 in 61 games with Avtomobilist in 2019-2020
Before Macek came to Avtomobilist, the league had already seen two high-scoring German players: Eduard Lewandowski and Felix Schutz. Lewandowski played seven seasons in the KHL — Macek will have to score a lot to tie his total numbers. In 2008-2009, the Russian-born German forward posted a 28-point performance, his best. Lewandowski will turn 40 in September, but he is still active in Germany and will line up with Frankfurt next year in the country’s second-tier league.
Felix Schutz had a shorter career in the KHL, but his first year was tremendous when he topped Admiral with 38 (16+22) points in the Far East franchise’s inaugural season in the league. However, Schutz couldn’t keep up with this pace. He was back for another stint with Admiral the next year, then lined up for Avangard, Dinamo Riga, and Torpedo, scoring only 15 points combined. After his ventures in the KHL, Schutz played in Sweden and Germany, where he is still playing.
For the purposes of this series, players who took a second nationality after moving to the KHL are counted according to their nationality when the first joined the league.