Sergejs Žoltoks, who was known professionally in North America as Sergei Zholtok (December 2, 1972 – November 3, 2004) was a Latvian professional ice hockey centre who played ten seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Nashville Predators.
Žoltoks was drafted 55th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft. Prior to being drafted, he won a gold medal with USSR national team in IIHF Junior World Championships in 1992. After playing 25 games with the Boston Bruins in the 1992–93 NHL season and the 1993–94 NHL season, Žoltoks spent the next years playing in minor leagues.
Žoltoks returned to the NHL in the 1996–97 NHL season with the Ottawa Senators. In the following years, he played for the Montreal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and the Nashville Predators.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Žoltoks returned to Latvia and played for Riga 2000 team of the Latvian Hockey Higher League and the Belarusian Extraleague. On November 3, 2004, his cardiac arrhythmia resurfaced during the game between Riga 2000 and Dinamo Minsk. Žoltoks left the game with five minutes remaining, collapsing and dying after returning to the dressing room in the arms of teammate Darby Hendrickson. An autopsy determined heart failure as the cause of death. He was survived by his wife, Anna, and two sons. This was not the first occurrence; in January 2003, he had to leave the game due to arrhythmia, and had been observed in a hospital overnight. He was allowed to return to playing after missing seven games.
During his ten seasons in the NHL, he played in 588 regular season games, scored 111 goals and had 147 assists.
Awards and achievements
Regular season and playoffs