In the light of goalie uncertainty for the next season, it is interesting to learn what Caps top prospect think about his future...
By P. Lysenkov, SovSport, Apr. 29, 2008:
Q.: (On Russian junior team loss to Canada) Could it be because our junior hockey is not as good as Canadian?
A.: Probably. In Canada they have a very strong junior league from where the hockey players can go directly to the NHL.
Q.: What about you, will you get in the NHL?
A.: I know that the Washington Capitals are waiting for me, they talk a lot with my agent. I'm planning to leave for North America. I know it will be hard to break into the Capitals roster. But I will try. I am even prepared to spend a year or two in the AHL.
Q.: Two years? Ilya Bryzgalov said that they paid $50K a year.
A.: I know how much they pay in the AHL. But at this stage I'm not interested in money. I could safely remain with the Lokomotive, where I was offered an excellent contract. But I have already announced to the management of the club and to the fans that I am leaving. I don't want to hide it.
Q.: Can a 20 year old guy break into NHL?
A.: There is an example, a 21 year old Carey Price of Montreal, he is my idol. Or Pittsburgh Penguins Marc-Andre Fleury. Both are unique goalies even by NHL standards.
Q.: I remember Bryzgalov's interview to SovSport that appeared under the heading "Want to become a good goalie? Leave Russia". Do you agree?
A.: In many Russian teams goalkeepers don't have personal trainers who work with them, they have to train on their own. As for me, I got lucky with the mentors. But looking at the general trend, it is difficult to disagree with Bryzgalov. It is much easier to learn the art of goaltending across the pond.