We were reminded of Datsyuk's nifty mittens when he scored his first goal in the KHL with CSKA Moscow. To no surprise, it was off a takeaway:
Datsyuk is amazing at stealing the puck and the stats over the years reveal he is a lot better than anyone else at it. In his 523 games played since the 2004-05 Lockout, Datsyuk has 704 takeaways. That's a pretty solid average of 1.35/game and his puck-stealing skills have always earned him a spot among the leaders in this category. Even when he's missed large chunks of seasons due to injury he's been among the leaders such as finishing 11th in 2010-11 despite only playing 56 games. Some seasons he's blown the competition out of the water such as leading the league by 49 takeaways in 2009-10 with 132 and winning the category by 58 in 2007-08 when he totalled 144 takeaways. The guy is pretty impressive when it comes to stealing pucks.
Datsyuk can pick NHL stars pockets and generate scoring chances - that's not easy. Datsyuk can play keep away with NHLers for an entire shift if he wanted to (he's been named the "Hardest Player to take the Puck From" the past two years in the NHL Players Poll), so imagine what he could do to a rec hockey league player - oh wait we can. Datsyuk's thievery skill has also earned him a tribute video on YouTube and it might just be the first highlight reel video of someone simply taking pucks away from someone else. Enjoy.