From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia
Nikolai Alexandrovich Antropov (Template:Lang-ru; born February 18, 1980) is a Kazakh-Canadian former professional ice hockey centre who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets. He received Canadian citizenship in May 2007.
Antropov was expected to be drafted early in the second round, but following a dominant season with Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk in the second-tier of the Russian Superleague (RSL), including an international match against Iceland, in which he scored 11 goals and 26 points, he was drafted tenth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Before going overseas to play hockey in North America, Antropov also played in the RSL with Dynamo Moscow.When Owen Nolan joined the Maple Leafs in March 2003, Antropov changed his number from #11 (Nolan's number for the San Jose Sharks) to #80, the year of his birth. In 2003–04, Leaf coach Pat Quinn formed a line with Joe Nieuwendyk, Alexei Ponikarovsky, and Antropov. This line was dubbed the "Skyline" because of the players' height. NHL lock-out of the 2004–05 season, he returned to the Russian league and played 36 games split between Ak Bars Kazan and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. However, injuries felled the power forward, and he missed significant time during the 2005–06 season. Antropov managed to produce 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 57 games.
Upon Antropov's return from injury, he added 15 points in the final ten regular-season games of the 2005–06 NHL season. Antropov finished third on the team in even-strength scoring and also led the Leafs in +/- with a +13 rating. In 2006–07, Antropov typically played alongside team captain Mats Sundin and Ponikarovsky on the top line. On June 6, 2007, the Maple Leafs announced they had signed Antropov to a two-year contract extension. During a game with the New York Rangers on 6 December 2007, Antropov scored his second career hat-trick and was named the game's first star. In December 2007, a campaign was launched to encourage fans to vote Antropov as a write-in Candidate the 56th National Hockey League All-Star Game in Atlanta.
On February 9, 2008, Antropov set a new career high in goals with 19 when he scored in overtime to give the Leafs a 3–2 win, tipping in an Anton Strålman slapshot — he finished the season with 26 goals. On March 4, 2009, Antropov was traded to the New York Rangers for a second round draft pick and conditional draft pick. During his tenure with the Leafs, he became a Canadian citizen. He received Canadian citizenship in May 2007.
On July 2, 2009, Antropov signed a four-year, $16.25 million deal with the Atlanta Thrashers as a free agent. He is expected to make $3.5 million the first year, $3.75 million the second, $4.25 million the third, and $4.75 million for the final year of the deal, for an average cap hit of $4.0625 million each year. His first year with the Atlanta Thrashers was his most successful scoring 24 goals and 43 assists. Following the team's relocation to Winnipeg in the summer of 2011, Antropov had the honor of scoring the first goal of the new Winnipeg Jets on October 9, 2011 against the Montreal Canadiens.
On August 8, 2013, Antropov signed a two-year deal with Barys Astana of the KHL, where he played during 2012-13 NHL lockout. At the conclusion of his two year tenure with Barys, Antropov opted to end his professional career and returned to Canada.
Template:MedalTableTop Template:MedalCountry Template:MedalSport Template:MedalCompetition Template:MedalGold Template:MedalBottom Internationally, Antropov represented Kazakhstan in the 1998 IIHF World Championships, the 1999 World Junior Championships (earning eight points in six games) and in the 2006 Winter Olympics, where he scored one goal. Antropov captained the Kazakhstani squad on both occasions. He and Colorado Avalanche goaltender Vitali Kolesnik were the lone NHL players on the team.
Regular season and playoffs
|1999–00||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||66||12||18||30||41||3||0||0||0||4|
|1999–00||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||2||0||0||0||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||52||6||11||17||30||9||2||1||3||12|
|2001–02||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||11||1||1||2||4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||St. John's Maple Leafs||AHL||34||11||24||35||47||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||72||16||29||45||124||3||0||0||0||0|
|2003–04||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||62||13||18||31||62||13||0||2||2||18|
|2004–05||Ak Bars Kazan||RSL||10||2||3||5||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||57||12||19||31||56||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||54||18||15||33||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||72||26||30||56||92||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Toronto Maple Leafs||NHL||63||21||25||46||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||New York Rangers||NHL||18||7||6||13||6||7||2||1||3||6|