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Skilled Russian center Anatoli Semenov was born in Moscow on March 5, 1962. A star for Moscow Dynamo and the second-line anchor of the Soviet national team, the fall of communism in the Soviet Union created an opportunity to play in the National Hockey League. At age 27, Semenov was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth round (120th overall) of the 1989 NHL Draft.

Semenov went on to play 362 regular season games (68 goals, 126 assists, 194 points, 122 penalty minutes) and 49 matches in the Stanley Cup playoffs (nine goals, 13 assists, 22 points, 12 penalty minutes) in the National Hockey League.

Although he never put up big stats in the NHL, Semenov was a smart two-way finesse player with good puck skills. His best NHL season came in 1991-92 with the Oilers when, despite being limited to 59 games, the Russian forward produced 20 goals, 22 assists and 42 points.

The Flyers acquired Semenov from the Anaheim Ducks on March 8, 1995 in exchange for offensive defenseman Milos Holan. Over parts of two seasons with the Flyers, Semenov dressed in 70 games for Terry Murray's team, posting four goals and 19 points. He periodically filled in on the top line between John LeClair and Mikael Renberg when Eric Lindros missed time with injuries. In 15 games in the 1995 Stanley Cup playoffs, Semenov posted two goals and six points.

On March 19, 1996, the Flyers returned Semenov to Anaheim. In return, the Flyers received power forward prospect Brian Wesenberg. Semenov finished the campaign with the Ducks and then appeared in 25 games the next season with the Buffalo Sabres before retiring.