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The best Andrei, Andrej, Ondrei, and Ondrej ever to play in the NHL

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So many spellings, so little time.

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Andrei, Andrej, Ondrei, Ondrej. And there are probably more spellings than that, but these seem to be the four most common. The Lightning have Andrei Vasilevskiy and Ondrej Palat. They used to have Andrej Sustr. And I think I have an idea. Yes, it’s a little bit cheeky. Yes, it’s supposed to be fun. But let’s just go with this little exercise though to try and find the best of all the A/Ondrei/j to play in the NHL. (Skaters and Goaltenders will be divided since it’s so often hard to compare their careers.)

One of the things I noticed is that the spelling of the name is generally dependent on the country of origin for the player. While it’s not 100%, as things go, typically for each name Andrei is Russian, Andrej is Slovakian, Ondrei is Ukranian, and Ondrej is Czech.

Andrei

Skater Contenders: Andrei Markov [RUS], Andrei Kovalenko [RUS], Andrei Nikolishin [RUS], Andrei Kostitsyn [RUS]
Goalie Contenders: Andrei Vasilevskiy [RUS]

In total, there have been 16 different Andreis to play in the NHL: seven forwards, seven defensemen, and two goaltenders. Andrei Markov leads the skaters with 990 games played and 572 points. Andrei Kovalenko is the leading forward with 173 goals and 379 points. Andrei Nikolishin also played in 628 games with 280 points. Andrei Vasilevskiy is by far the better goaltender than Andrei Trefilov who played 54 games with 12 wins.

Best Skater: Andrei Markov
Best Goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Andrej

Skater Contenders: Andrej Meszaros [SVK], Andrej Sekera [SVK], Andrej Sustr [CZE]
Goalie Contenders: None

There’s only been five different Andrejs to play in the NHL and the top three are all defensemen. Meszaros and Sustr both played for the Lightning as well. Meszaros had 238 points over 645 games in his career. Sekara is right up there with 684 games and 232 points. I’m going to give the edge here to Sekara simply because he is still playing in the NHL and is likely to surpass Meszaros in points very soon.

Best Skater: Andrej Sekara
Best Goalie: None

Ondrei

Skater Contenders: None
Goalie Contenders: None

Oops. I really thought there had been an Ondrei that played in the NHL at some point, but I was wrong. Players named Ondrei for the most part have come from the Ukraine and there have only been nine Ukranian players to ever appear in the NHL.

But since we don’t have any NHL players to add the list, we can remember the career of Ondrei Lupandin who had a good run in professional hockey in North America and Europe. In North America, his best season was probably putting up 40 points in 70 games with the San Antonio Iguanas of the Central Hockey Leauge. He also put up multiple 20+ point seasons in the ECHL.

Best Skater: None
Best Goalie: None

Ondrej

Skater Contenders: Ondrej Palat [CZE], Ondrej Kase [CZE]
Goalie Contenders: Ondrej Pavelec [CZE]

Well, it’s just three players all from the Czech Republic, so this should be easy. Palat has 279 points over 406 games played in the NHL. The younger Kase has 73 points in 149 games, but he has continued to rise up with the Anaheim Ducks. I don’t foresee him overtaking Palat in this ranking, but stranger things have been known to happen. Ondrej Pavelec is the only Ondrej goaltender as well so he’s the automatic pick. In 398 career games, Pavelec has 156 wins. Not the greatest, but at least he’s had a fairly long career for a goaltender.

Best Skater: Ondrej Palat
Best Goalie: Ondrej Pavelec