About the League
Konstantin Sharapov was on Sibirskie Snaipery for the past two seasons but played just 43 games – that time proved to be insufficient to beat Alexei Krasikov and then Shamil Shmakov in competition. Sharapov will spend this jubilee Junior Hockey League season with Atlanty Moscow Region, where he’s been given another chance to become a starting goaltender. Sharapov told JHL media relations department why he decided to move to the West and what are his plans for the future.
- Why weren’t you able to become the starting goaltender on Sibirksie Snaipery in the past two years?
- I almost never played in my debut season. Alexei Krasikov was undisputed starting goaltender that year. He now plays for Sibir and I’m very happy for him, we still keep in touch. Then I was named the top goaltender of a pre-season tournament – Belosokhov Memorial Cup – but I got injured almost right after it. I struggled to get into game shape, my physical conditions were off. And that’s how Shamil Shmakov got to be the starter.
- Are you joining Atlanty to get a chance to get more game experience?
- I spoke to coaches at the Black Sea Cup when I was with Team Russia and he advised me to shake it up a bit and move to the Western Conference. He told me that there’s a good chance I will make progress here. I didn’t know anything about Atlanty before joining them. All I could remember was that back a few years ago Konstantin Barulin used to play for Atlant. I spoke to Alexei Krasikov about moving to Mytischi. He joined Sibirskie Snaipery from Atlanty. So he told me about baza, city and other everyday stuff.
- You will get another chance to become the starting goaltender. Do you feel nervous?
- No, I’m not feeling anything unusual. I don’t put extra responsibility on my shoulders. Stop the pucks from going into the net is what every goaltender is responsible for. I’m ready to help my team win and make progress while at it.
- There are quite a few former Novosibirsk players in Moscow these days. For instance, Konstantin Okulov and Maxim Shalunov, who play for CSKA.
- I used to practice a lot with Novosibirsk KHL team so I know Okulov, Shalunov and [Sergei] Shumakov. Sibir has always been known for mutual respect that everybody had on the team for each other. Even the most famous players were always ready to help and give advice.
- Atlanty haven’t found much success in Junior Hockey League in recent years. Would you say that a goaltender would get a lot of work under these circumstances and thus make more progress?
- Of course, it’s more interesting to play against strong opponents. It’s not that important that you’re going to allow more goals. Because all this extra work will make you improve your game faster, including the fact that you’re going to learn from your mistakes.
- What are your plans for the immediate future?
- I want to get to VHL level and then KHL. Western Conference coaches talk more often to each other and they see more players from other teams. As far as I know, Atlanty coaching staff have a good relationship with Khimik Voskresensk and Spartak Moscow. So I’m going to prove myself worthy of getting an invitation from professional clubs.
- Atlanty held an anti-doping seminar for coaches and players before the 2018-19 season. What did you learn there?
- They mostly talked about food supplements but I don’t drink them as a principal. So I didn’t learn anything new. When I first started in Junior Hockey League, I sought advice from a diet specialist regarding protein supplements. I wanted to get bigger and gain more mass. He advised me against it. I haven’t gone back to that thought ever since.
- 29 is an unusual number for a goaltender.
- That’s my sister’s birthday. I dedicated that to her.