Share
02.02.2024 в 13:30

“I could settle for scoring no points if only we would win the Kharlamov Cup.” Yegor Surin talks moving from Voronezh, making KHL debut, working with Igor Nikitin and Oleg Tauber

Author

The 17-year-old forward is becoming one of the leaders of the Yaroslavl team and has already made his KHL debut.

Loko forward Yegor Surin is in his second JHL season. Voronezh-born player made his JHL debut at the age of 16. He has played for both junior teams of the Yaroslavl system, but has appeared in way more games with Loko. In the 2022/23 season, he scored 31 (12+19) points in 48 regular-season games and 8 (4+4) points in ten playoff games. In the 2023/24 season, the forward has played 39 games for Loko and one for Loko-76 with 22 goals and 28 assists. Surin is one of the top-five scorers in the JHL and his performance allowed him to receive a call-up to the KHL team.
  In an interview with the official JHL website, Yegor Surin talked about making his JHL and KHL debuts, working with Igor Nikitin and his career goals.

“SKA-1946 and Spartak are the toughest teams to play against”

– You’ve had several impressive winning streaks. What are the toughest teams to play against?
This question is easy to answer: SKA-1946. And JHC Spartak is a tough opponent as well.

– Is SKA-1946 your main competitor? You lost three out of four games against them.
I think they were lucky to play against us early in the season, because we had a new coach, and the team was still half-baked. Many of our guys were starting their first JHL season. The other two games were tight, one team was more fortunate than the other. I know many of the SKA-1946 players personally. Obviously, Vanya Demidov distinguishes himself by his performance. At the same time, there was no special preparation to that opponent, we try to build on our game.

– Do you happen to lack motivation when having such long winning streaks?
I will be honest with you, there were some issues with that in late December. We had won a lot of games, were emotionally drained, wanted to get some rest to then start playing with renewed energy. But I think we managed to find emotions and strength, because all games differ from one another, they all teach you something. If you succeed, you want to do even better next time. If something doesn’t work out well, you try to fix it. Every single game gives such an opportunity.

– It must be noted that Loko got off to a rocky start, lost several games. Why so?
Loko, so to say, have a tradition of getting off to a rocky start. It was the same story in the 2022/23 season. The main reason this time was having a new roster and new coaching staff. I don’t know what exactly the guys were doing in the preseason, since I was with Lokomotiv. But when I joined the team, I was to get adjusted to the coach’s requirements and the season started right away. And it should also be noted that the guys who are in their debut JHL season, felt jittery playing their first games.

“I am strongly impressed by working with Igor Nikitin”

– Is Igor Nikitin the greatest coach you have ever worked with?
Yes. He is a very good coach. I am strongly impressed by working with Igor Valerievich and by the team’s attitude towards him. I was amazed by that man. For example, when he enters the locker room, his posture sends a message of confidence. And no matter how the game goes, he is still confident in his players. As to me, any comment he makes wields major influence on my game and career. Even when he talks about some little thing, once it is corrected or improved, it gives a significant boost to the game. Igor Valerievich is also an influence for good in terms of players’ mentality.

– What do you think about his requirements?
Each coach has his own requirements. A hockey player is a soldier. We do what we are told to do. Coach’s instructions are beyond discussion. Igor Valerievich’s requirements are reasonable. Yes, we are to play solid in the defensive zone, but that’s what every single player is expected to do. If you do nothing but attack, you can hardly be considered a high-level hockey player.

– What did he tell you before you KHL debut?
I wouldn’t say that he laid emphasis on making my KHL debut. Igor Valerievich asked me several questions, I made it clear that I was ready to play. And if we talk about some specific comments, he makes them every day. Igor Valerievich always gives some pointers during games. Especially if one makes some childish mistake. He indicates and explains all minor mistakes.

– Did he say anything to you after the game against Barys?
I didn’t ask him anything, but I watched his press conference. Igor Valerievich said that I played quite well, but made some childish mistakes. Yes, I did cough up the puck, but he told me about it during the game. I think that mistake resulted from the difference between KHL and JHL levels. Even Anton Nikolaevich But said that I think correctly, but my execution is of JHL level. Igor Valerievich also noted that there were two chances when all that was left to do was score. In the KHL, everything needs to be done quickly, but you are to stay cool-headed. And also, I thought the goalie would play the way they do in the JHL. But, I guess, Edward Pasquale expected me to take such shots.

“Playing a KHL game was easier than practicing with Lokomotiv”

– In the summer you participated in Lokomotiv’s training camp. Did the call-up come as a surprise?
I was surprised when I first heard about it at the end of the 2022/23 season. Then I started preparing mentally. I thought that blending in with the men’s team would be challenging, but everything turned out to be way easier. Lokomotiv has some guys who are in between experienced players and young ones, like Maxim Beryozkin, Stepan Nikulin. They were of great help.

– What were your first impressions when you joined the KHL team?
I remember telling Daniil But and Dmitry Simashev that I wanted to get a picture with Alexei Marchenko and Sergei Andronov. But then I calmed myself down, of course.

– Did the players welcome you warmly?
Begin with, no one even knew who I was. Soon I felt more comfortable and began to communicate with the guys. After making my debut with the team in the game against SKA, they started treating me better. We could talk more and have a few laughs.

– You made your KHL debut on October 23 in the game against SKA. Did you feel jittery when hitting the ice?
For some reason I knew that I would get to play that night. I said to myself that the main thing was to stay calm. When I took the ice, I realized that playing was even easier than practicing with Lokomotiv. During practices they don’t explain all the drills, but just say: “now we do our thing.” That’s it. And I am like, “okay, we do our thing.” You watch what others do and have just one go to understand what exactly needs to be done and then do the same thing the right way. Playing the game is something else. It was a great pleasure. Unlike JHLers, KHLers always seek to get open for passes. The fact that SKA was trying to sit on their lead also worked in my favor. We were to come back. I didn’t get criticized for the mistakes that would probably not go unnoticed if the score was 0-0. My first thought during the shift was to take a shot. I couldn’t but create a chance in a game like that. I remember having to battle hard right from the start of my shift. In the JHL, for example, things are different – it takes you a couple of strides to shake off an opponent. And in the KHL, while skating away from one opponent, you get another one appearing out of nowhere, their sticks were everywhere. Thank God, I managed to win the puck battle and take a shot. Too bad I didn’t score.

– Many people say that you are a person with a strong character.
Our character develops throughout our life. Mine was influenced by various situations. It is built little by little, when you don’t give up, always find a way out. It’s not like I was born with it. Everyone shows character in different ways. I want my character to be my strength.

“Making it to Loko made me feel happy”

– Your first JHL season. When did you find out that you would participate in junior team’s training camp? After all, you were still eligible for playing for the school.
Our school coach Alexander Vasilievich Tatarinov told me to get prepared for the JHL. All year he had been throwing out some hints that Roman Luttsev and I would receive call-ups for junior team’s training camp in the summer. Then the main question was which team I would play for, Loko or Loko-76. I’d say I was preparing for Loko-76, but hoping to join Loko. And when I was added to Loko group chat, I got so excited, it made me feel happy. Then I checked their roster and saw many national teams’ players on it. I thought things would be tough, but the season was quite good.

– What were your first impressions of the JHL?
My first game was with Loko-76, we played against Reaktor. Daniil But was also dressed for that game, he had already had some JHL experience and was of great help to me. He assisted on my first JHL goal. I really wanted to score. It is important for me. I remember that even playing soccer as a child, scoring mattered a good deal to me. And I often succeeded, moreover, my goals were usually scored in my first shifts. My first JHL goal was also not long in coming. It was a monkey off my back. If you don’t score in your first game, it makes things harder.

“It’s frustrating that Russia is not able to compete in U18 WC and WJC”

If we speak about your global hockey goals, what are they?
Winning cups, of course. I wish I would set some record, become a great player.

– Do you feel bitter about not being able to compete in U18 WC and WJC?
I really do. It’s frustrating. I did watch the World Juniors games. On the one hand, you see that they play some cool hockey, but on the other hand, you understand that the Russian 2004-team is stronger. It’s like night and day. I think our team would have won the tournament. I really want to play against the Americans and Canadians to show the true Russian spirit.

– What about the Kharlamov Cup?
It is my first goal. I will tell you a secret, when we were on the road in Moscow a while ago, Roman Luttsev and I were visualizing winning the Kharlamov Cup. It’s funny, but in Loko everyone lives to achieve this goal. I could settle for scoring no points if only we would win the Kharlamov Cup. I just have to do it while I’m still eligible for the JHL.

Profile
Surin Yegor Mikhailovich
Born on August 1, 2006 in Voronezh
Career
2012-2019 – Buran, Voronezh
From 2019 – Lokomotiv, Yaroslavl
Achievements
2022/23 JHL bronze medalist

Share