“You always try to show off yourself against former teams” – Ivan Murashov talks Loko and Chaika

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26.01.2022 в 12:30

“You always try to show off yourself against former teams” – Ivan Murashov talks Loko and Chaika

Ivan Murashov joined the Torpedo system before the start of the 2020-2021 campaign. Then, in the season, he scored 28 (17+11) points in 51 games for Chaika. This season is even more successful for the forward, as he’s among the leading scorers in the JHL and leads his team for points, producing a total of 55 (18+37) points in 41 games. In the assists race, Murashov is second only to Steel Foxes’ Nikita Grebyonkin, who has amassed 42 assists so far.

The Nizhny Novgorod side’s top sniper is Yegor Vinogradov, a JHL rookie, who plays with Murashov on the same line. In this interview for the JHL official site, Vinogradov confessed that without a partner like Ivan Murashov, he would not have scored so many goals (23 in 44 games).

Murashov began his hockey journey in his native Yaroslavl, but he never lined up for a single game with Loko. In the JHL, he made his debut with Chaika. He managed to play against his former club as this season Lokomotiv’s second junior team – Loko-76 – has been added to the Eastern Conference’s lineup.

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In this interview with the JHL website, the 19-year-old forward explained why moving to Nizhny Novgorod was a difficult experience, talked about his role as a team’s leader, the important win over his former club, his love for other sports, and his rivalry with Yegor Vinogradov.

As said, Murashov started his career in Yaroslavl. “My parents got me playing hockey there when I was six,” he says. “I was a hyperactive kid, so I played hockey and soccer at the same time. I really liked team sports. But they sent me to soccer first, probably because I was always playing it with my friends in the yard. My parents realized that I had a soft spot for it. Then they decided to try hockey, and after a couple of months I was all over it.” 

At one point, he had to pick one sport. “It’s hard to remember the details now, I just had more interest in hockey,” he explains. “At the first training session I realized that it was so different from soccer. Hockey was something new, at the first practice I was pleasantly surprised, everything was unusual: skates, sticks, the puck. When I went out on the ice for the first time, I was given a chair so I could skate somehow. But after 30-45 minutes, the chair was put aside, and I was going myself. Maybe that was the sign. I also immediately liked the coach; he began to support me right away. That’s why I didn’t even think much when I had to choose – I knew it was going to be hockey.”

 

Ivan remained in Yaroslavl until 2020, when he moved to Nizhny Novgorod during the offseason. “Before the 2020-2021 season, I had a training camp with Loko, but they didn’t see me in the team. I understood that I needed to change something, to make a step forward. I didn’t want to stop developing or play at a lower level. Representatives from Chaika called me and told me they were interested in me playing in the team. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided to move.”

 

For a kid of that age, it’s always hard to move, let alone when he spent his whole life in the same city. “Home, parents, relatives, everyone I know stayed in Yaroslavl. That’s why it was very hard, but I decided for myself that I will take that step into adulthood. Of course, I needed some time to adapt to the new city, the club, the teammates. But all the guys were good and helpful, so everything worked out. After a couple of months, I got used to everything.” 

After spending a year in the NMHL in Yaroslavl, Murashov finally had his debut in the JHL this season. “I had my first game against Tyumensky Legion. I wasn’t too worried; I took it the same way I always do with other games. I managed to score; having my first goal in the JHL in my debut game was fantastic. It’s good that it happened that way, immediately a mountain fell off my shoulders. I think everything went great.” 

Moreover, his family is always following him, even in another city. “My mom is more emotional, she congratulated me right away after my first goal. My dad knows more about hockey, so I mostly discuss games with him. He’s strict about it, we always call each other after games, my dad starts with mistakes, and only then we talk about the positives. He always tried to tell me how to do better. Now I have grown, and he gives me fewer advice. Dad already knows that I understand everything myself. But he has always played an important role in my career.”

Soon after facing Tyumensky Legion, Murashov and Chaika faced the Yaroslavl Eastern Conference’s team – Loko-76. Those were the central games for him so far in his JHL career. “When we faced Loko-76, those were the most important games of my life so far. Every game against the home team is hard, I have something to prove. So I’m waiting for another clash with them.” 

Two years ago, Murashov had a respectable 21 (9+12) points with Loko-Yunior in the NMHL. Last year, his production rose to 28 points in a higher-level league, and now he’s topping Chaika for points. “It’s always nice to be a leader,” he admits. “But it wouldn’t have happened without my partners – Artyom Misnikov and Yegor Vinogradov; we have good chemistry. Success gives you confidence, and I try to pass it on to the team: I talk to my partners and the younger players who are still worried about their game. But being a leader has given me more responsibility – you realize that you need to play at a high level in every game. I think that psychologically it became easier for me, but physically, on the other hand, it became more difficult.” 

He and Vinogradov are currently Chaika’s top scorers. “We can make fun of each other somehow in terms of statistics, but we understand that we’re both doing the same job. I will only be happy if he beat me on points. There is no real rivalry between us.” As one of the league’s top point-producers, Murashov earned a call to the 2022 JHL Challenge Cup. However, the event was eventually cancelled. “I was very pleased to be called up,” he says. “I can't say I didn’t expect it at all, but I was still happy that my work was paying off. Then I was so upset that the Challenge Cup was cancelled. Another dream could have come true. It would have been a very important game, where you could prove yourself.”

Off the ice, Murashov tries to enjoy his free time just as other young people do. “I don’t have much spare time on my hands; I mostly go out with my friends, we can sometimes play computer games, but it’s very rare,” he explains. “I enjoy watching some soccer, tennis, or MMA. In soccer I wouldn’t say that I follow or support anybody, but I enjoy Bayern Munich’s games. In tennis, I follow Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev. I’m not really familiar with the situation with Djokovic, but I think it’s sad that one of the best players in the world had to renounce to his tournament. I hope that everything will be solved peacefully, and he’ll be back where he belongs. In the MMA, I like Justin Gaethje’s style – he’s a real warrior.”

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