16-year-old defenseman shows a very mature level of play for his age.
Loko Yaroslavl rookie defenseman Gennady Chalyi turned 16 just in late August. However, this Salekhard native already deserves to noted. Chalyi played four regular season games in Junior Hockey League a notched his first point for an assist. Most importantly Chalyi shows unlikely for his age high level of play in his defensive zone and logs solid minutes averaging over 15 minutes of ice-time per game, having earned Lokomotiv Yaroslavl sports director Alexander Ardashev’s trust.
In the latest episode of Junior Hockey News the young defenseman spoke to Alexei Shevchenko and told a story how he moved from Salekhard to Yaroslavl when he was eight years old.
- It was noticeable at a pre-season tournament in Tula that you show a very mature level of play.
- It was late in the pre-season. I do my best to learn a thing or two from other defensemen. If they play solid and score points, that means I can take something from their play and apply it to mine.
- What KHL player would you compare your style with?
- There are several 2004 born players on Loko [Yaroslavl] whose style is similar to mine. For example, Andrei Malyavin and Kirill Kudryavtsev. They are both good defensemen who play in a similar style.
- Do you coaches have anything against you joining offensive rushes often?
- No. Defense is my top priority. As for joining offensive rushes, it’s like a bonus for me. Coaching staff allows me to do it.
- Tell us a little about yourself. Where di you grow up and how you ended up in Lokomotiv system?
- I was born in Salekhard, in the North. That’s where I started playing hockey. I moved to Yaroslavl when I was either eight or nine years old.
- How did the team scout you?
- I was playing in Salekhard against Sosnogorsk one day. One coach noticed me and began taking me to their games. In kids’ hockey our team would play 2-period games. That’s when Yaroslavl coaches noticed me and invited to join their team. I moved to Yaroslavl with my mom and sister. My dad remained in Salekhard. He’s got a job there. He visits us every other month and stays for a week a two. It would have been scary for me to move to Yaroslavl just by myself at the age of eight or nine.
- Do you miss Salekhard?
- Not anymore. After all, I moved from there when I was eight years old so I don’t remember much about it. I got used to Yaroslavl already. I consider it my hometown.
- How did you graduate from school?
- To be honest with you, I didn’t do to good. There are a lot of D’s in my diploma (smiles). I will do my best to get better at it this year or at least not do worse.