Considered one of the best players in the world of his birth year, 15-years-old Andrei Svechnikov has an example to follow in his brother, Evgeny, a 2015 first-round pick of the Detroit Red Wings. In this translated interview, originally appearing on the popular Russian website rsport.ru, 2018 draft eligible Andrei Svechnikov talked about the recent Youth Olympic Games, described his ties with his older brother and declared that he’s not interested in playing Major Junior hockey in Canada.
A 2000-birth, Andrei Svechnikov is gifted by excellent skating and puck techniques and seems also to have a good size at 6’2″, 176 lbs.
* For the original rsport.ru article by Nikolai Ryazantsev, click here.
– Andrei, not long ago you participated in the 2016 Youth Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. What are your impressions about the tournament? Was it your first big tournament?
– Of course, you get to play in those Olympic Games only once, I have only the most positive emotions.
– The bronze medal was a success or you wanted the gold only?
– Of course, it was a success, after all, it’s an Olympic medal, any medal is good. Of course, the gold medal would have been better, but the third place isn’t bad too.
– We can split your tournament in two parts: the first three games, which were very good, and then the disqualification against Team USA. What can you tell about that episode?
– I didn’t want to hit him against the rules, it just happened. I watched the video, it was well evident that I wanted to hit him with my shoulder, if I didn’t jump, then it wouldn’t have been a foul.
– Do you think your [two-game] ban was too harsh?
– Maybe. Of course, you’re going to get a one-game ban for a game-misconduct penalty. But I’m not sure about the second game.
– The tournament itself apart, what do you remember about your trip to Norway?
– The conditions were excellent, after all, we were hosted at the Olympic Village, the food was great, we pretty much lived at the hotel and the ice was very good as well. Generally speaking, we didn’t have much time, we had a walk on the evening, then on the morning, it was already time to practice and prepare for the game.
– Does it mean that you didn’t feel a celebrating atmosphere?
– We felt it only during the opening ceremony, it was great.
– Four years ago your older brother Evgeny participated to the first Youth Olympic Games. Team Russia got home with a silver medal. Did you talk about it before the tournament?
– Yes, we joked about it, and we also decided that it’s not much different a second or a third place. He told me to hang on and that I played well.
– What kind of ties do you have with your brother? Are you often in touch even now that he plays in North America?
– We call each other every day, we talk about our stuff and we are constantly in touch.
– Do you try to get something from him or you prefer to go your own way?
– He’s my brother, of course, I’m trying to follow him and to follow his example. He always helped me and always will.
– Do you feel extra-attention on yourself just because of your brother?
– No, I do not and I don’t pay attention to it.
– Last year you attended the NHL draft with your brother. What were your emotions?
– It was truly great, Miami is a great place, I liked it a lot. A great arena with 20,000 seats, truly incredible.
– Do you have a favorite NHL team?
– Right now I like Detroit because my brother was drafted by them. I’d like to get there in the future, my dream is to play with my brother on the same line.
– Is playing in the NHL your dream?
– I am not really thinking about it yet, I’m playing in Russia and I enjoy playing hockey.
– Does it mean that you don’t plan to play in the CHL?
– No, I don’t think about [playing Major Junior Hockey in Canada], I like everything about playing here [in Russia].
– How good is your English? Do your brother help you with learning it?
– No, I don’t know [English language]. Only the most basic things, like “Hello” (laughs). My brother doesn’t help me with it and it’s not needed yet.
– Next year you may play in the MHL in Russia. Are you planning to play there?
– Yes, of course, I talked with the coaches about it, at first, I’ll go to their camp and then we’ll see. Of course, I’d like to play there.
– Do you have any idol among yesterday or today’s players?
– I like watching [Evgeni] Malkin, but my idol, of course, is my brother.
– In one of the social networks I read that your favorite movie is “Never Back Down“, a martial arts film. Do you fight often?
– I only had some fights on ice, in day-to-day life, it never happened. I wouldn’t say that it happens often in hockey too, most of times it’s just pushing and shoving, but our sport is a physical game and it happens.
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A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso