|Author: Yana Romanova (RussianProspects Exclusive)|
Translated By: Sergei Chveitser
|Yana Romanova Corner: Ivan Nepriayev (Washington Capitals) speaks his mind|
|2007 Russian Super League Welcome to the first installments of our correspondent Yana Romanov's
column. This time our correspondent met up with Washington Capitals prospect Ivan
Nepriayev and gave the young talented center a chance to speak his mind.
Ivan Nepriayev is one of the most talented young Russian players still
skating outside the NHL. He represented his country at the 2006 Winter Olympics
and has consistently been a member of Team Russia at the EuroTour and World Championships
tournaments. RussianProspects.com correspondent Yana Romanova caught up with Ivan
after practice in his hometown of Yaroslavl. |
Two goals and an assist, is that the kind of start you expected?
I. Nepriayev: No, of course not and to answer any potential questions,
no external factors had any influence on me and everything has to do with myself.
There are deficiencies in my game that need to be fixed. Perhaps sometimes I haven't
made the best decisions during some offensive rushes. For some reason, a new tendency
emerged in my game where I choose to pass the puck rather than shoot it myself.
Personal statistics are becoming less and less important to me and instead, I
want my team to win in every game.
What is your most memorable goal of the season? The deciding overtime
goal against Krylia Sovetov?
I. Nepriayev: If my choice is one of the two goals, then yes
(laughs). I haven't been scoring a lot so far so it's not hard to remember that
goal and besides, it wasn't that long ago anyway. Most of the work there was done
by Sean Bergenheim. He made a great pass, predicted where I will skate in the
next moment and sent the puck to that exact spot. It's too bad that things didn't
go well for him in Russia and he left.
Are you still improving as a player or did you develop some stability
in your game?
I. Nepriayev: There is always something to strive towards and
rarely does it happen when at some point in life, a person stops. There is always
a road ahead. I can't evaluate at what stage I'm currently at, I think I can probably
adjust under any style. I have my strong and weak sides and in the end and after
all, I can't boast the kind of stats like Alexei Morozov.
The roster went through some major changes. Do you feel as a veteran
at the team?
I. Nepriayev: You know, outside of hockey, the word veteran has
a different meaning than what it is used for in the team. The youth are the ones
who carry the sticks, the veterans are everyone else. It's been a long time since
I gathered the pucks and the sticks so I guess I've been a veteran for a while
now. There are usually three-four youngsters and everyone else is a 'veteran'.
What thoughts went through your head when you watched your former teammates
Mikhnov and Taratukhin go overseas?
I. Nepriayev: I'll be honest, I had thoughts about the NHL too,
but not in the summer. It was last winter and spring when I was getting many offers
and held negotiations but I decided not to go.
Why did you decide to stay?
I. Nepriayev: Our situations were totally different. First of
all, I made a promise to the club president that I will stay with the team for
the next two seasons. Second of all, there is one condition that separates me
from these guys. When I was 18, I was picked late in the draft while Mikhnov was
chosen in the first round and Taratukhin in the 2nd. Because of this, I won't
be able to get the maximum allowed contract in the NHL so even if I improved as
a player, they simply aren't allowed to offer me a better contract because of
my draft position.
What will happen in two years?
I. Nepriayev: When two years pass, I will think and decide if
it's worth going there. For now, it's a good thing that none of these outside
things distract me from playing for Lokomotiv.
- Yana Romanova (RussianProspects.com)
Related Player Profiles: . I.Nepriayev
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