2019 YEARBOOK. ARTYOM KOKSHAROV

2019 YEARBOOK. ARTYOM KOKSHAROV
Interview
01.07.2019 в 17:00
2019 YEARBOOK. ARTYOM KOKSHAROV
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Krylia Sovetov Moscow captain Artyom Koksharov spoke about his adjustment issues after joining a new team, changes in Junior Hockey League and named the top three players of the 10th Kharlamov Cup Playoffs.

- It’s summertime. How are you enjoying the rest after a hard-working season?
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I went to the seaside in May to relax so to speak. But now I’m back home and getting ready to practice for the upcoming season. I go to the gym, practice on ice – everything is just as it has to be.

- Do you know where you’re going to start the new season?
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Not yet. I practice to keep myself in shape so I could go for a try-out whenever I need.

- Let’s rewind and talk about this past season. What’s your take on it?
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It’s wasn’t all that great of a season for our team. We didn’t make the playoffs, even though we had a pretty strong team. Sometimes we just weren’t lucky enough. As for me personally, I think it wasn’t a bad season. Although, obviously, there’s room to grow.

- You were named Krylia Sovetov captain mid-season.
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Yes, that’s what the coach decided. Perhaps, coaching staff thought that our previous captain wasn’t pulling his weight, so they decided to change things up a bit and shuffle it around. It’s often good for the team and affects its performance in a good way.

- You moved to a new team every season in your junior career. How difficult was it to adapt to new teammates and coaches every time?
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Actually, it wasn’t that difficult, even though every coach has his own outlook at the game and as such puts forward his own little nuances in practice. I think, I adapted quickly enough on every team. It wasn’t that big of a deal for me.

- Did the fact that every team had players you’d known since junior hockey school help you?
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Of course. It’s really helpful when there’s a guy you know on the team and you could just ask him whatever is on your mind. You don’t feel left out. Whenever you need help, there’s always someone to turn to.

- How did you end up on Krylia Sovetov?
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My agent offered my to try out for Setun. He told me that the team just got a new coaching staff and if they were to like me, I would get a lot of ice-time. So I went there and everything turned out just the way my agent told me. I made the team and played a lot.

- You spent the previous year on Kunlun Red Star. What was memorable about it?
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I think, that year gave me a lot in terms of elevating my game to a new level. I missed almost no games and had a lot of ice-time. I could feel that the coaches trusted me. It’s fair to say that I improved all my skills that year and in a certain sense really got to a new level. Actually, everything on Kunlun was top-notch. There’s everything for hockey players to develop and focus on the game.

- You spent three years in Junior Hockey League. Have you noticed any changes over the stretch?
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I would say that last season the teams evened up. It wasn’t clear who would make the playoffs right till the end of the regular season. The intensity of competition definitely went up. As for routine, I didn’t notice much difference.

- Where did you like the fans the most?
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Definitely on Krylia Sovetov. We would draw at least two or three thousands for every game. The atmosphere was comparable to KHL games. I’m certain that there are a lot of teams who would be envious of such support. Our fans even traveled with our team – even to Russian Far East. And there was one guy who rooted for us in China as well!

- What do you think other JHL teams should do to have the same attendance as Krylia Sovetov at their games?
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That’s not an easy question. Perhaps, it would make sense to advertise and market the games better. Because sometimes I feel that in certain towns people don’t even know they have a junior hockey team. I think, broadcasting games goes a long way in promoting hockey. People watch them, learn about the game and cheer for their teams when they can’t come to the rink for one reason on another.

- After you left Yaroslavl, Loko went on to win two consecutive Kharlamov Cups. Is it something you find frustrating? After all, you could have been on the team.
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No, I don’t feel sad at all. Yaroslavl had a great team, good depth and there was always somebody ready to step up. Besides, they bring a lot of guys from junior hockey school on the team every year. I think, every team could learn from that. That’s why I think that they deserved to win all those Kharlamov Cups.

- Would you name Top-3 players of the post-season?
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That’s a tough one… I would probably say it’s Nikolai Kovalenko, Georgy Ivanov and Avto [Yekaterinburg] goaltender Vladimir Galkin. He really put his team on his back in the most important games of the season.

- What is the most difficult road trip in the Western Conference?
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Probably, St. Petersburg. All of their teams are pretty solid. It’s difficult to play against all of them.

- What league do you expect to play next year?
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I think, I should spend some time in the VHL first and have a few good seasons there. And then I would focus on getting to the KHL.

- How difficult do you think it’s going to be to make transition from junior to professional hockey?
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Adjusting to any new level is difficult, including getting from kid hockey to junior. I think, it’s going to take effort to adjust to professional hockey. But I’m not the only one who ventures down that road. I think everything is going to work out.

- What it the most difficult thing in adjusting from kid hockey to junior?
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It’s important to show what you’re worth right away and not get dissolved with the others. After you get past it, it gets easier. You gradually get used to what your coaching staff demands of you and begin to play your best hockey.

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