Former Bottom-6 NHLer Turned KHL Superstar Retires At Age 38

One of the best success stories of a player making a great career for himself overseas after the NHL didn't work out for him is Nigel Dawes. But at age 38, he called it a career and retired. Drafted by the New York Rangers in the fifth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, it was really a surprise he was drafted as late as he was. He put up 47 goals and 92 points in 72 games in his draft year and was a very good player for the Kootenay Ice of the WHL.

He found instant success in the AHL as well and throughout his career, scored 117 goals and 233 points in 232 games, but it was never really transferred over to the NHL level. Dawes played parts of three seasons with the Rangers, but never scored up to the level that was expected of him. After a few pit stops in Phoenix, Calgary, Atlanta, and Montreal, Dawes headed overseas where he became a star.

After a career high of 14 goals and 32 points in a season in the NHL, he produced better numbers in all 10 seasons he spent in the KHL. In his KHL career, he scored 267 goals and 504 points in 543 games. He ended three of those seasons above a point-per-game. After that long and successful run, he finished off his professional playing career with two seasons in DEL (German league) where he also produced.

Not many times do you hear of someone heading overseas after failing to really make the cut in the NHL and becoming one of the best players in the league for a decade. Dawes accomplished that and made a name for himself.

Photo credit: © Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports