18.05.2023 в 14:30

“In the game against Loko, I broke all of my sticks, then borrowed one from my teammate and scored a goal from the first touch.” JHL’s best rookie Ivan Anoshko — about Dinamo-Shinnik, Akuly’s disco bus and his enjoyment of fishing

The forward of Dinamo-Shinnik scored 53 (21+32) points in 53 regular-season games.

One of the men of the 2022/23 season, 18-year-old Ivan Anoshko, was recognized as the best rookie of the Junior Hockey League. The Minsk Dinamo alumnus became the leader of the Bobruisk team in his first year of playing in the JHL. His line with Miroslav Mikhalyov and Daniil Sotishvili, became the most productive one in the regular season with 42 goals scored in 49 games.

In the interview with the official JHL website, Ivan Anoshko shared his emotions from Dinamo-Shinnik making their return to the League, talked about playing for the Belarusian national team, the fish he dreams of catching and the person he wants to beat in soccer.

“In Dinamo-Shinnik, we all supported and motivated one another”

– The 2022/23 season was your first one in the JHL. How can you evaluate it?
– In terms of my individual result, it was a successful season. I was particularly glad to pick up the JHL’s best rookie award, it motivates to aim higher. I did gain the coaching staff’s trust, I was able to do many things that had been not allowed before. This made our line with Daniil Sotishvili and Miroslav Mikhalyov a productive one, the coaches always used us at decisive moments.

– What difficulties did you face?
– The season shows that there hardly were any difficulties. Things were going well right from the start, I was making many shots on goal. Then there was a small decrease in point production, but I managed to overcome it quickly. Our team did not know what to expect from the JHL, so we just tried not to repeat Dinamo-Shinnik’s previous unsuccessful result, we enjoyed the game and kept calm. I knew almost all the guys from playing for the national team, so I didn’t actually have to get adjusted.

– What differences did you notice in the JHL?
– The biggest difference is the speed of the game. Junior hockey is fast-paced. I really enjoyed playing against strong teams, as everything could change in a split second.

– What was your first game like?
– It was a new experience, a different league, a different country. I was looking forward to find out what was in store for us and wanted to approve myself.

– You became one of the leaders of the team in your very first season in the League. How do you like this role?
– It is an interesting experience, this role motivated me to keep moving forward. I wanted to achieve the best result and tried to do it in every game.

– Did you rise to speak in the locker room as a leader?
– My linemates usually did it, and I could support them. At the start of the season, only a few players would address the team, but later we all started doing it – we all supported and motivated one another and moved together as a team.

– What did you feel when you were named the best rookie of the season?
– It was such a good feeling. Receiving the award in the first season in the League is really nice. It was of great interest to attend the 2022/23 Closing Ceremony. The award was presented to me by Alexander Nikishin, who plays for SKA. I took the opportunity to touch base with guys from other JHL teams. I didn’t know many of them, but that was where we put faces to the names.


“Sakhalinskie Akuly’s bus is quite suitable for hosting a disco party”

– You scored 53 (21+32) points in 53 regular-season games. What is the secret of such production?
– My linemates and the coaching staff’s trust, because we were always used in decisive moments and were allowed to be creative on the ice. In many teams one does not often come up against an experience of this nature.

– You scored 3 (1 + 2) points in your very first JHL game. How did it affect your future performance?
– It gave me an added boost of confidence. Things were going well right from the start and I wanted to show my worth more and more, I wanted my team to win games.

– You have made a special mention of your linemates several times. How did you manage to keep producing points during the entire season?
– We played together with Daniil Sotishvili throughout the season, the line was split up just by the end of it. We had also played together for the national team. As for Miroslav Mikhalyov, we have been playing together for three years in all the teams, so building chemistry was not an issue. We knew what each of us was capable of and supported one another.

– Which game of the 2022/23 season was the most memorable one?
– The one against Loko played in our barn. It was a back-and-forth game, but we managed to beat them. Plus, our team had just three five-man lines that night, it made the game really interesting. I broke all of my sticks in that game, then I borrowed one from my teammate and scored a goal from the first touch. It was cool, he tried to score, but couldn’t find the back of the net, and I managed to do it right away. Funny thing.

– Which goal was the most beautiful one?
– The one I scored in the game against Taifun after taking a great set-up by Miroslav Mikhalyov. That goal was assisted by both of my linemates. It was the most beautiful goal of the season for me. But Daniil Sotishvili’s goal is even more memorable. He had a 14-game goal drought, and Miroslav and I were committed to dish a nice pass for him to end it. When he did score, we were perhaps even happier than he was.

– You said that the road trip to the Far East was really memorable. How was it?
– We went there right after the New Year, at seven in the morning on the first of January. It was as unusual as possible, we always had a couple of days to get rested, but not that time. It was an interesting experience with all the jet lag and everything. We managed to visit the bay in Vladivostok, we liked it very much. But the Sakhalinskie Akuly’s bus was one of the most remarkable things, it is quite suitable for hosting a disco party, it is equipped with color music and nice acoustic systems, a disco bus indeed.

– You are now preparing for the Future Cup with the Belarusian national junior team. Isn’t such a busy season exhausting?
– I had a couple of days to get rested, but now, on the contrary, I want to play hockey. And given that my hometown Minsk hosts the tournament, earning a call-up to the national team is doubly pleasant, the appetite to win it is even greater.

– Does playing for the national team feel different?
– Well, I haven’t seen many of the guys for a long time, they play for other teams. And now we live and breathe this atmosphere and enjoy it. It is interesting to hear about their season, everyone tells their stories.

– You were selected in the draft of the top junior ice hockey league in the USA, plus you made it to the list of candidates for the NHL Draft. What do you think about it?
– It’s too early to talk about the NHL, it’s a preliminary list, I don’t think about it too much. But I will definitely follow the draft. Being selected is very nice, but I try not to be hung up on it, what shall be shall be. I’m looking forward to when it all starts. As for the USHL, I was happy to be selected, but I knew well before that it would happen, because the team contacted me. I spoke with the coaches and the general manager. It did not come as surprise.


“Playing in the JHL allows you to learn a lot from other guys and approve yourself”

– Dinamo-Shinnik made their return to the League in the 2022/23 season. In your opinion, in what way does the League facilitate young players’ progress?
– The JHL, together with the KHL and the VHL, make up a system that allows players to move up the tiers and make it to the main team. The best Russian players play in the JHL, it is one of the best junior leagues in the world. Playing in the JHL allows you to learn a lot from other guys and approve yourself.

– How can you evaluate the season for the team?
– One always wants to do better. We talked with the guys after the end of the season. We should have won the play-in tournament, but we made far too many mistakes. I hope this won’t happen again. We have gained experience that we need to use in the future.

– The average home attendance of Bobruisk is one of the highest in the League. How do you like the atmosphere at games?
– It’s nice when people come to see you play. Our fans even had a tradition of holding up their cell phone flashlights. It’s indescribable when everything around the ice is lightened. Sometimes it even dazzled the eyes.

– How do you feel about fans’ attention?
– There were times when people recognized and approached me, but I am totally fine with that. They never criticize, but say only good things, ask for an autograph and a picture, it’s nice. They attend games to cheer for us, so we have to win and attract people to hockey. We had more and more people in the stands every game - it was giving us an added boost of confidence. Many of the guys did not even expect that so many people would come to games and root for us.

– How do you feel about attention from media?
– At the beginning, I was surprised to see reporters wanting to talk to me. Then I got used to it and try to never refuse, talking to media is always nice. When I was in Belarus, I knew all the reporters, and now it is interesting to communicate with Russian ones. Fans always want to know more about players, so I try not to fence off to people.

“My parents always gave me freedom of choice so that I could find my thing to do”

– You are a Minsk Dinamo alumnus. Does the progress within the system of your club motivate you?
– Yes, I’ve been with the club since childhood. I wouldn’t say that it gives an added boost of confidence, but it’s nice to see that Dinamo school has a lot of good alumni. Even now everyone is always happy to see me at my school and to talk to me. Coming back to a place where you are welcomed is always nice.

– How did you start playing hockey?
– Once my dad was watching hockey on TV, I saw it and started playing it with my younger brother. Then I asked my parents to be signed up for hockey. They brought me to Yunost school for one practice, but I didn’t like it there. Then I joined Dinamo school. And my younger brother followed our dad’s footsteps and started wrestling.

– Why did you choose hockey over wrestling?
– My parents always gave me freedom of choice so that I could find my thing to do. They didn’t force me to do anything specific, they tried to help in everything. For example, my brother and I used to swim, but we didn’t like it, and we changed sports. Our parents have always been very supportive.

– What do you remember from those days when you just started playing hockey?
– I liked everything about Dinamo. I skated in the morning, then I had classes, I was a sports class pupil, and off-ice training later in the evening. I remember that at some point it was pretty cold in locker rooms, and we competed to see who would be the first one to put on all the gear and hit the ice. We all lived and breathed hockey. Many guys would arrive as early as possible in order to have some time to work on some components of their game.

– Did you perform well at school?
– I was an A-student, I was getting good grades. We still keep in touch with our teachers, and they tell us that even though they weren’t always happy with us, we were capable pupils and did not violate school regime.

– What were you favorite subjects?
– I used to participate in science competitions, but to be honest, it was a mere incident (laughs). I was doing well at school, and my teacher thought I was really good at the subject. I liked math. Our class master was teaching us, she was very helpful. I also liked Belarusian and English. Even though our English teacher kept telling me: “What a good boy you were in the fifth grade, and now you are going downhill” (laughs).

“There is a goal that I want to achieve: I have been trying to catch a pike for two years now”

– What do you like to do when you are not busy with hockey?
– My life is about hockey now, I don’t actually have time to do something else, so I just enjoy going for a walk with my friends during the season. In the summer time, fishing is my greatest love, there is a goal that I want to achieve: I have been trying to catch a pike for two years now. I hope to do it this summer. Everyone in my family loves this hobby. Getting up early in the morning is the hardest part, but if we are awake, we definitely go fishing.

– How do you usually spend your holidays?
– I try to spend time with my family, we often go out of town. But the work is never done, I only give myself a week to get rested. My parents always breathe down my neck when they see that it’s time to get back to practicing, it has always been like that. Now I understand that this is as it should be.

– What do you work on during the offseason?
– Shooting and conditioning. My dad works as a coach now, so he helps my brother and me in the summer. I am not always happy with what he tells us to do, but there is no point in arguing, we will still have to do it. I compete with my younger brother – in the number of sets and reps, in weights lifted. We have been doing it ever since we were little. He does a different sport, so some things are easier for him while other things are easier for me. It's a win-win for everyone.

– What other sports do you like?
– Soccer. I already know who I will play against in the summer. I have a friend who is 25 years older than me, we assemble teams and play. I have already beaten him in basketball, so now it’s soccer time. Once we lost and I went to wash his car together with a friend of mine.

– Which athletes do you look up to?
– If we speak about hockey, it’s Connor McDavid. He is widely considered the best NHL player and it is well-deserved. It’s not for nothing that he broke the record for goals scored in a season. Broadly speaking, I like Michael Jordan. He is a legend, he has proved to the whole world that he is the best in basketball. He had no equal back in the day.

Anoshko Ivan Sergeevich
Born on October 7, 2004 in Minsk

2012-2020 – Minsk Dinamo
2020-2021 – Belarus U18
From 2021 – Minsk Dinamo
2022/23 JHL best rookie