Nikita Khoruzhev: «I got great experience»


Reaktor forward Nikita Khoruzhev scored 46 points (23+23) in 31 games. Also, Nikita played 9 KHL and 12 VHL games. In this interview, Nikita talks about KHL and VHL experience, Play–In and his last year in the JHL.

– Was it hard to wait for the results of Loko–76 games? Probably, it is hard when nothing depends on your team.
– It was hard. It seems that the regular season is over, but there is no result yet – all the players, the coaching staff, the administrators – everyone was worried. After that, we felt much better.

– How did you find out the result?
– We watched that game. The last game between Tyumensky Legion and Loko-76 did not end in regular time, there was overtime and shootouts series.

– How is the mood of the team?
–We have been preparing all the last days. Tomorrow is the first Play–In game, we will prove that it was not in vain that we ended up there, but that we deserve to win.

– How would you characterize the past regular season for yourself?
– Quite dynamic season. There were plenty of emotions, surprises, trips, I got a lot of experience.

– You started this season in the JHL, in October you got the chance to play in the KHL. How did you find out this news?
– I found out about this after the game against Chaika in Nizhny Novgorod. Amir Nugmanov and I were informed that the next day we should be at the Neftekhim Arena. We did not sleep that night and immediately came to the rink. Of course, it was so cool. The team greeted us well. At that moment, Neftekhimik was going through a difficult period, so they invited young players. I got great experience, I played in the best league in Europe – this is a completely different level of skill of the players, different speed. Moving back to the JHL, I got more confidence.

– What kind of useful things did you learn after working with Oleg Leontyev?
– I liked that he supported us and gave us advice. It was great!

–You also played in the VHL this season. How was it?
– I needed to get experience playing at the adult level. This time was memorable because I was often on the road. It happened that one day there was a game in Izhevsk, and the next day you have to play in Nizhnekamsk. Despite the night travel, I wanted to play more and more. The fact that former Reaktor players – Daniel Poyarkov, Oleg Travin, Robert Chernov, Maxim Ustimkin – now play for Izhstal also helped me join the team.

– Indeed, after this, you improved the way you play and became a leader for Reaktor. Have you noticed this yourself?
– I began to feel more confident in the game and increased my speed. I understand that this is my last year in the JHL. The coaches gave me a lot of ice time, so I try to do my best and help the team.

– Did you follow Reaktor’s games?
– Yes, constantly, I tried not to miss games. I worried about the guys, of course, especially when there were unsuccessful games.

– There was one dramatic moment in this regular season when you did not score an empty–net goal in the game against Stalnye Lisy. Now your team face Stalnye Lisy in Play–In.
– Yes, a fatal mistake happened. I was a little worried after the game, but I understood that I had to move on. The main thing is to win.

– We did not manage to meet for an interview right away; you were busy with your studies.
– I study in Kazan, at the Volga Academy of Physical Education and Tourism. I had to pass my coursework and other things to be done.

– Who supports you on the stands in Nizhnekamsk?
– Parents, older and younger brothers, all my relatives.

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