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21 января 2002 года.
Saprykin's brush with greatness // Calgary Herald


Calgary Herald Archive Oleg Saprykin patrolled left wing Saturday on a line with stars Jarome Iginla and Craig Conroy.  Imagine the distance of this trip.
No, not traversing the three time zones between Saint John, N.B., and Calgary -- although that's a decent haul, too.

Instead, contemplate the two-day journey from 11-point minor-leaguer to linemate of the National Hockey League's most prolific producer.

That was the enjoyable odyssey of left-winger Oleg Saprykin, who made his season's debut Saturday night with the Calgary Flames, working on the team's top trio with right-winger Jarome Iginla -- the owner of a league-best 54 points -- and centre Craig Conroy. 

"Oh yeah, playing with Iggy is nice," said Conroy, who certainly knows from experience.

"Hopefully, (Saprykin) gets a few points, gets more confidence and we can take off. He's got so much talent. Just watch him out there -- he's offensively gifted."
Immediately before meeting the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, coach Greg Gilbert had informed his troops of the new line combination. Saprykin would be inserted into the hole left by Steve Begin, who banged up his shoulder Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Gilbert said it made perfect sense.

"That's two fast players with one young fast player who can fit right in to the speed of that line."

And Conroy, for one, liked what he saw from the rangy kid.

"It was good," said Conroy. "I thought he played well. We had some chances. Once we get a little more confidence, a little more comfortable with each other. . . . We had a couple chances but not many. It was a frustrating game. Once we get going -- it just takes a couple games, a few practices -- we'll be right on track."
As a 19-year-old, Saprykin had produced 23 points, including nine goals, for the Flames last season. But during this pre-season, the six-foot-one, 180-pounder had been drilled in the back by an Edmonton Oilers defenceman. Whiplash put him on the shelf, and eventually he was demoted to Saint John.

Now, however temporarily, he's on the first line, one of the NHL`s most dangerous.

"Yeah, it's great," said Saprykin. "They support me all the time. They tell me what's going on, what we're doing, the systems. I just try to help them all I can."

Saprykin finished with 16:41 of ice time, one hit and a game-high four shots, including three in the first period.

"He's got great speed and unbelievable hands," said Conroy. "His shot's great, too."

The packed house witnessed that shot just 17 seconds after the national anthems. Striding down his left wing, Saprykin uncorked a blast from inside the blueline -- hard and on target.

"He's got to shoot from everywhere," said Conroy. "That's the key. He gets a couple shots, gets into the game, gets hit, takes it, skates with the puck, feels comfortable. And then he can start making plays. That was an easy way for him to get into the game -- get off a quick shot. The goaltender's first shot of the game is always a tough one, so you never know. And he let a rocket go."

That opening-shift slapper also caught his boss's eye.

"I knew he was ready to go. That's a scoring opportunity," said Gilbert. "He used his physical attributes, competed hard. He was playing pretty close attention to his defensive coverage, making the simple plays. I was very happy with the way he performed."

Saprykin admitted that he had to battle a flock of pre-game butterflies.

"I was shaky a little bit in the first couple shifts," said the Muscovite, the 11th overall pick in 1999. "Then I got up a sweat and kept it rolling. Guys helped me in the locker-room, in the dressing room, on the ice. It's going OK. I'm just happy we won the game, you know."

And his NHL fate?

"Oh, I don't know. Just live it day by day," shrugged Saprykin. "I'm happy to be back. I'm really going to enjoy it, you know what I mean?"

Страничка Олега Сапрыкина на сайте "Звёзды с Востока"

Материалы прессы

Сезон 2005-06 

26 января. Сапрыкин приподнес подарок Уэйну Гретцки на день рождения.

24 октября. Форвард «Финикса» Олег Сапрыкин: Очень хочу помочь сборной //"Советский Спорт"

Сезон 2004-05 

26 августа. Олег Сапрыкин переезжает в Аризону. 

Сезон 2003-04

21 мая. Олег Сапрыкин: Я не верю в свое счастье! - Советский Спорт

Сезон 2002-03 

26 июня. В следующие три года Олег Сапрыкин заработает $3.5 миллиона долларов.

Сезон 2001-02

21 января. Saprykin's brush with greatness // Calgary Herald


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