Pavel Valentenko has good size standing 6’2 202 lbs. He spent his early career in the Neftekhimik system. Drafted 5th round (159th overall), 2006
2006-07: Russian WJC team.
2007-08: The Russian born defenseman recorded 16 points (1+15) in 57 games for the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL), and found himself 58 penalty minutes in the process.
2008-09: Valentenko attended Montreal's training camp and appeared in four games with the Canadiens' AHL affiliate before signing a three-year contract with KHL Moscow Dynamo and returning to Russia. He appeared in just 8 games for Dynamo before suffering a serious back injury. In 4 games with Hamilton he had 2 assists and was -1 with 2 PMs. In 8 KHL games he had 1 assist and 8 PMs. The Rangers obtained the rights to Valentenko from Montreal in a multi-player deal that included Scott Gomez and Christopher Higgins in June 2009.
2009-10: Valentenko appeared in just seven games for Dynamo Moscow after suffering a shoulder injury that required surgery. He was scoreless with 2 PMs and had an even plus/minus and did not play in the KHL playoffs.
2010-11: Valentenko returned to North America and was arguably the top defensemen for the Rangers' AHL affiliate Connecticut. Valentenko scored 5 goals with 12 assists and had 38 PMs in 79 games. His +21 plus/minus tied forward Evgeny Grachev for the team high. After finishing third in the Atlantic Division in the regular season Hartford dropped a six-game first round series to Portland. Valentenko appeared in all six games and was scoreless and -1 with 12 PMs.
2011-12: Valentenko returned to Rangers' AHL affiliate Connecticut for a second season. Overshadowed by offensive defenseman Tim Erixon, acquired by the Rangers the previous June, Valentenko scored 5 goals with 16 assists in 60 games and his plus-12 plus/minus was the top mark on the Whale among players to appear in 30 or more games. In nine AHL playoff games he was plus-two with 3 assists. Valentenko signed a contract with Avangard Omsk of the KHL in May 2012 and received a qualifying offer from the Rangers in June.
Valentenko has an excellent shot, combined with crease clearing abilities. He is an excellent defensive player, very responsible in his own zone and a good puck distributor.