Cherepanov Spruces Up
NY Rangers draft pick Alexei Cherepanov
The Russian site Sports Daily ran a short interview with Alexei Cherepanov today, during which Cherepanov discussed preparations for the upcoming Russian Super League season (Avangard's training camp opens in a few days, on July 10th). He also talked about settling into his new apartment, which his Russian team has just given him-- "I'm trying to fix it up nice. It's my first apartment, and I want to do things right." (Remember, Cherepanov is only 18 years old.)
Here's the rest of what Cherepanov had to say:
"I was very happy with the United States. New York is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I went to many places, including the team's training facility. I was very impressed. As for the results of the draft, basically, I'm satisfied. I'm figuring 17th isn't so bad.
"I'll be in Omsk at least another year anyway, so I wouldn't be going anywhere even if I were drafted higher. It's important that I get physically stronger, and help Avangard win the gold medal (1st place) in the Russian Super League. Last season we were eliminated by the eventual champion, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, but this year we'll try to bring the gold back to Omsk.
"I'm also looking forward to playing for the junior team at the World Junior Championships. We won the silver in January (the Russians have finished second at the U20 Worlds for three straight years), so next time we want to win gold. It's also a very strong desire of mine to make my debut on the Russian national team."
When asked about the 2014 Winter Olympics, to be hosted by Russia when Cherepanov is 25-- "the perfect age for a hockey player"-- Cherepanov replied, "You're right, and I certainly wouldn't like to miss out on playing in the Olympic Games in my home country. But it's a little early to think about that. I have seven years in front of me. But I have no doubt that the fact that the Olympics will be in Russia will mean that our national team will be playing only to win."
About Jaromir Jagr, Cherepanov says, "I followed him that season, when he came to Omsk to play during the lockout. To watch him play is a total pleasure. I hope someday to play at his level.
"I have already considered that my second season in the Russian Super League will be more difficult than the first, and I think I'm prepared for that. I realize that the other teams will defend against me differently now. To score 20 goals this year will be difficult, but I will try to get at least that many."