|2000-2001||San Jose Sharks|
The San Jose Sharks got more than they could have dreamed of when they selected Nabokov, a goalie from Kazakhstan, in the ninth round (No. 219) of the 1994 NHL Draft. In fact, Tim Burke, the scout who found Nabokov, did so while on a trip to scout another player.
Nabokov played three more seasons in Russia before coming to North America in 1997, then played most of the next three seasons in the American Hockey League. He made his NHL debut in a third-period relief appearance against the Nashville Predators on Jan. 1, 2000, got first start against the Colorado Avalanche 18 days later in an 0-0 tie and earned his first victory by defeating the Predators in relief March 2.