The forward made his JHL and KHL debut and became a champion of the Belarusian Extraleague.
Vadim Moroz had a busy season. He participated in Minsk Dinamo’s training camp, made his debut in OLIMPBET JHL and after six games played joined the KHL team to spend most of the season with them. The forward played 39 games for Minsk Dinamo, scored 14 (5+9) points, was named rookie of the month for November 2022. At the end of the season, Moroz joined Zhlobin Metallurg for the Belarusian Extraleague playoffs and won the championship with the team. In December, the forward helped the Belarus national team to win the Channel One Cup.
In an interview with the official JHL website, the player talked about the rich experience he gained in the 2022/23 season, his sporting family and a trip to the Far East.
– What are your impressions of your first season in the JHL?
– JHL is a good league, close to the KHL. There are many good teams and players here, competitive environment. I think that joining to the JHL only does Dinamo-Shinnik good, it will allow guys to make greater progress.
– If we compare the way you played at the beginning of the season and at the end of it, what was the difference?
– Playing my first games, I was getting adjusted to the new league and the teams. In February, I already knew what to prepare for. Plus, I had played in the KHL and felt more confident.
– How did you find out about being called up to the main team?
– Andrei Alexandrovich Mikhalyov told me I was to go to Minsk. I was delighted at hearing it and rushed to pack my bag. I was looking forward to hitting the ice to play my first game in the KHL. In the course of my career, I often managed to move up the tiers without long adjustment periods. The more ice time you get, the quicker you adjust. The secret is simple: have no fear of making mistakes and do your stuff.
– How was your KHL debut?
– I was at a loss at the beginning, but felt more and more comfortable with each game played. Things are different in the KHL, mistakes cost way more, there are more fans in the stands. Playing in front of so many people feels great, it gives a boost of energy.
– You have become one of the most productive young players in the KHL. What helped you have such a successful first season?
– Hard work and coaches’ trust. I played on the line with very decent players, Ryan Spooner and Cedric Paquette, they were giving me many valuable pointers. To be honest, I was not aware of being named rookie of the week and of the month until my teammates told me about it. It feels nice and boosts motivation.
– How did 39 KHL games played influence you as a player?
– It was my first season in the league where so many games are played. It was easier at the beginning, because I was full of energy, but by the end of the season things became more challenging. Having played at this level, I started to pay attention to the little things. In hockey, everything matters: everyday life, meals, preparation for games and warming up.
– Do you find media attention distracting?
– No. You can't do without it. I don’t consider myself to be a public figure, but if I am asked for an interview, I never say no. It’s a part of a hockey player’s job.
– The episode when you dangled through five CSKA players and assisted on a goal was widely discussed on the Web. What did you feel at that moment?
– I was following my instincts, I wasn’t planning anything of that kind, I just played according to the situation. At first, I did not actually realize what I had done, but then I felt unbelievably great. After the game, I calmed down and realized what had happened. Then I watched that episode, wanted to get outside perspective, since everything looks different when you are on the ice.
– And how do you deal with failures?
– I have realized that nothing good will come of dwelling on sad things. The very things after games are getting rested and having your sleep out, getting your mind off things. Mistakes are to be considered on the next day. What’s most important is to stay positive and take failures in your stride.
– Your father is a hockey player. Was playing hockey the only option for you when you were a kid?
– I can’t say there were too many options. My mom signed me up for acrobatics, but I was expelled after two weeks, I was a very active child. Then my father started to teach me how to skate and that’s how it all began. My dad helps me a lot: he analyzes every game, always shows me where I went wrong and give pointers on what needs to be improved. During the summer, he leads practices and helps find other coaches.
– You mentioned that your favorite movie is Moneyball. Why so?
– It’s a good sports movie that teaches us about how baseball works. I think that everyone will find something to their liking about this film, even those who have nothing to do with sports. I also like the film about hockey called Youngblood. It’s old, released in 1986, but really cool. I also enjoy watching Na Nozhakh show, in which a chef comes to a failing restaurant, checks the food and the interior and then tries to revive the business.
– Which hockey players motivate you?
– When I was a kid, Pavel Datsyuk was my idol, he is a unique player and a good person who could make people be amazed. As for current players, I like Tage Thompson, he is a great pro who knows how to use his size to his advantage. I will also name Jack Eichel, he has excellent shooting and skating skills.