Nigel Dawes, who spent five seasons in the NHL and is one of the most successful players in KHL history, announced his retirement at the age of 38.
Dawes has spent the past two seasons with Adler Mannheim of Germany’s top league, recording 66 points in 90 games. He had a respectable 84 points in 212 NHL games and 233 points in 232 AHL games.
Dawes was drafted in the fifth round in 2003 by the New York Rangers, making his NHL debut with the club in the 2006-07 season. He had 29 points as a rookie in 2007-08 before moving full-time to the NHL in 2008-09. Dawes was traded to Arizona in 2009 but struggled and didn’t end up quitting. He then had a career-high 32 points with Calgary in 2009-10, but was bought out and later signed to Atlanta. The 5-foot-8 winger struggled with the Thrashers and was eventually transferred to Montreal, where he failed to score during his four-game stint with the club.
It was then that Dawes put his talents to work for the KHL, especially Barys Astana. He quickly became one of the best players in the KHL, appearing in the KHL All-Star Game six times and finishing his career with 505 points in 543 games, good for fifth all-time. In 2018-19, his first with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg, Dawes scored a career-high 69 points, the most by a non-Russian that season.
Dawes is perhaps best known for being one of the few players to have represented two countries at a top-tier IIHF event. Dawes was the leading scorer at the 2004 world juniors, then won gold the following year on a team that included Patrice Bergeron, Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, among others. But after playing five seasons with Kazakh Barys Astana, Dawes joined the Kazakhstan national team, where he quickly became the team’s top star. He made his only Premier League appearance in 2015-16 and scored eight points in seven games before winning Division IA bronze the following year. He last represented Kazakhstan in the qualifying tournament for the 2022 Olympics in 2019-20.