Forward of Mamonty Ugry Bogdan Senotov is currently the top scorer of the Parimatch Junior Hockey League Championship. His point production has already more than doubled compared to the 2020/2021 season. That year, the forward scored 25 (9+16) points in 54 games, and this season - 60 (29+31) points in 43 games. He has been twice recognized as the best forward of the week and has become the best forward of November, and now he is the League's points leader, with 12 more points than Gleb Petrov from Mikhailov Academy who ranks second. Senotov stands out for his excellent shot and ability to make much difference to a game at key moments. Here is, probably his brightest goal of this season so far.
Mamonty Ugry is the second highest scoring team of the Eastern conference (after Stalnye Lisy). The Ugra team had 178 goals in 44 games. 80 of them were scored by Senotov, Vasily Atanasov and Yegor Chernikov. All three players are among the top ten scorers and goalscorers of the JHL. Senotov has been playing with Chernikov since school – and now they are one of the best forward duos in the JHL. During his final year with the school, the forward was coached by the present-day head coach of Mamonty Ugry, Oleg Tauber, who stepped behind the bench of the Ugra junior team before the start of the current season. Oleg Mikhailovich is one of the youngest coaches in the JHL, in the interview Senotov will talk about the coach and the team being on the same wavelength.
The player received many offers from other clubs and from North America, but he decided to stay in Khanty-Mansiysk and develop as a part of the Ugra system. He has already made his debut for a senior team in the Supreme Hockey League.
In the interview, Ugra’s number 96 talked about having Oleg Tauber as a coach, playing with Yegor Chernikov on the same line, hobbies off the ice and the reasons for rejecting offers to join other clubs.
– Why did you choose hockey? It is not the most popular sport in Surgut.
– I had a choice between hockey and futsal. I spent about three years with Fakel Surgut, and then I went to a skating rink and I really liked it. When I was given a choice - hockey or futsal, I decided to go with hockey. It is not a cheap sport to play, but we were provided with gear, used though it was. But, yes, there are no professional hockey teams in Surgut.
– What positions did you play as a child?
– I was a center, but then the coach moved me to right wing and I have been a right winger since then. Being a center is not my thing, centers have to be moving all around the ice. I guess, wings are the easiest positions in hockey to play.
– Who was your idol, which team did you follow?
– If we speak about KHL, I have always liked the top clubs - CSKA, Avangard. There were many players I liked, for example, Jaromir Jagr, when he was with the Omsk team. I know that now he is still playing in Czech Republic.
– Was there a turning point when you realized that hockey was your future profession?
– There was no particular turning point. But I was dreaming of becoming a hockey player, playing for a professional team. I was even picturing it in my mind. But I’m not sure that my reality met all my expectations (smiles).
– You have always played for Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District teams. Weren’t you offered to join other clubs?
– I was, there has been many offers. But everything suited me well in Khanty-Mansiysk - conditions, accommodation, gear. That was why I didn’t leave. At the same time, I did not have any specific goal of playing only in the Ugra system.
– What were the offers you received?
– From Moscow, St. Petersburg, North America. My parents didn’t let me go overseas. I was an eighth-grade student at that time, and they told me I had to finish at least nine grades. I received some more offers after that, but I didn’t want to go: I was already getting close to JHL and I had no desire to leave.
– Since you had to finish nine grades, was studying an easy thing for you or not?
– Let's just say that C's were the most common grades of mine (laughs). In Khanty-Mansiysk, I was a sports class pupil. The teachers always understood everything, so we made up academic deficiencies if something hadn’t been done on time. We didn’t have any problems with that. PE was my favorite subject, but classes mainly involved playing soccer and volleyball.
– Why did you choose number 96 to wear?
– When I was a child, number 10 was my favorite one, I was wearing it for a long time. Then I decided to go with number 96 and I have been wearing it for five or six years now. There is no hidden meaning here, I just liked the number and that’s it.
– This season you have had a notable increase in number of points scored. What is the reason for this?
– We have new coaching staff, new style of play, we focus more on tactics, we pay more attention to offense. We are playing in the offensive zone in a different way, we know where the puck is going to be and where each of us should be. It became easier to use personal strengths. I became more confident, coaches cheer us up, we just hit the ice and play. The coaches’ trust is also an important factor: they put me on the powerplay and I sometimes play every second shift. But I don’t really follow personal statistics - well, I do, but not often. I don't count every point.
– Did Oleg Tauber say that the team would count on Senotov, Atanasov, Chernikov?
– We worked with Oleg Mikhailovich during our final year with the school. So, we had an understanding of how we would be playing, how the work would be arranged, maybe at some point it was easier for us.
– Has Tauber changed a lot compared to the years with the sports school?
– He is still the same good specialist. He pays a lot of attention to tactics. His approach remains the same. Oleg Mikhailovich has a lot of famous trainees. I was excited to hear that he would join the team. I worked with him before, so I knew that there would be no difficulties.
– What do you like most about his style of work?
– Oleg Mikhailovich is always calm, he explains everything and never yells at players. He might raise his voice, but in general everything is calm, he never panics. He is a young specialist who is on the same wavelength with us. We can make good jokes during practices and off the ice.
– Mamonty Ugry has confirmed to be a top team of the Eastern conference. What were the initial goals of the team?
– Challenging goals – to clinch a playoff spot and to advance as far as possible. But we weren’t making any plans for the future – we were working and getting ready for the season.
– Is there any internal competition with Atanasov or Chernikov? You three are top scorers of the team.
– No, there has never been any kind of competition, we don’t even discuss points scored, we just play hockey and enjoy it, that’s it. Chernikov has been my linemate since school, we’ve been on the same unit for seven or eight years now - the chemistry was built right away and we are still doing well together.
– Is Chernikov the coolest linemate?
– Yes, he is. We also keep company off the ice - we share room when we are on the road, we are friends. If we speak about good chemistry, I can also mention Ivan Vorobyov, we started playing hockey in Surgut together. That was our line – Chernikov, Vorobyov and I.
– You have notched your first hat trick not so long ago. Was it something special?
– It was nice, I was glad to notch my first hat trick in the JHL. After I scored two goals, my partners started doing their best to help me score the third one.
– Did you keep the puck?
– Yes, I kept it. I also have a puck from my first goal in the JHL, and that’s pretty much everything I have in my collection.
–You have made your SHL debut this season. How did playing at the senior level feel?
– Playing against men is tough, that’s for sure. It is a different level, you have to do everything faster and keep your eyes open. Atanasov and I were called up to Ugra together, the coaching staff complimented us after the game. The guys were also supportive. Becoming a full-time SHL player will be my short-term goal.
– Aren’t you surprised that having such a point production in JHL, you have not yet been called up to the national team?
– I am neither surprised, nor offended. I don’t get stuck on it. Of course, I would love to play for the national team, well it is to happen later, I guess. All in its own good time.
– What are your hobbies?
– I like computer games. I often go to a computer club with my teammates. I play Counter-Strike, watch tournaments, my favorite team is NAVI. When I have a day off, I can play all night. I am a good shooter, but I’ve never thought of participating in any tournament. If we speak about PlayStation games, I play FIFA, NHL, Spider-Man, Call of Duty.
– What else do you do in your free time?
– I sometimes stay over at my parents’ place after a practice or a game. They also live in Khanty-Mansiysk. If we are at the campus, we can play Monopoly, poker. Just rest from hockey.
– Where does your love for poker come from?
– Not only for poker, but for cards in general - durak, twenty-one. I love gambling games. But we do not play for money. I also watch poker tournaments, seeing professionals play helps me learn something from them.
– Did your family move to Khanty-Mansiysk long ago?
– Yes, they moved here soon after I did. Their jobs are not associated with oil or gas. My grandparents used to work in this field, and now my uncle does. As for me, I never wanted to be involved with oil and gas industry.
– Do your relatives follow your hockey career?
– Yes, they do. My parents and my younger brother visit games. They were not fond of hockey before, but now we can discuss some things. My father sometimes gives me a few pointers on how to play. He happens to be wrong, but all the disputes are not serious.
– Do you have a personal point production target for this season?
– I want to break records of Mamonty Ugry for goals and points scored. Pavel Varfolomeyev had 36 goals and 72 points. I still have time. And surpassing the JHL’s record will be very difficult. 48 goals – that’s a lot. We’ll see how it goes.
– What are your dreams?
– I dream of playing in KHL. I don’t have any dreams that are not related to hockey. I am totally focused on my sports career.
– Playing in KHL for Ugra?
– If Ugra becomes a KHL team again, it will be great. I can’t say I’m a Ugra fan, but I visit some games. I used to come and watch games when Ugra was a KHL team, I liked Nikita Gusev and followed him. Anyways, Ugra will become an elite team again. Maybe not so soon, but the chances are there.
– What are your short-term goals?
– To become the top scorer of the JHL and win the Kharlamov Cup. After that, I will start thinking about the Petrov Cup. But I don’t get stuck on not playing in the SHL this season. The chance will definitely come by, and I will need to prove myself.