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|2 сентября 2002
Physical Russian (Volchenkov) states his case - The Ottawa Citizen
He doesn't speak English, but Russian Anton Volchenkov's physical play speaks volumes.
By KEN WARREN
Anton Volchenkov's experience in elite hockey shows on the ice, where the defenceman displays composure not normally found in a rookie camp.
Senators general manager John Muckler and coach Jacques Martin, foreground, study the team's prospects from the Corel Centre stands yesterday.
Anton Volchenkov used his body to make a positive first impression at the opening of the Ottawa Senators rookie camp at the Corel Centre yesterday evening.
Volchenkov, the 20-year-old Russian defenceman who was selected by the Senators in the first round of the 2000 NHL entry draft (21st overall), drew the notice of the coaching staff with his aggressive play during the first practice session.
Midway through the workout, Volchenkov collided with 20-year-old centre Chris Minard, sending both players to the ice. Late in the 90-minute practice, Volchenkov and 19-year-old left-winger Scott Dobben battled for several seconds in the corner before the Russian skated away with the puck.
"You can tell he wants to be an aggressive player, a physical player," said Senators assistant coach Perry Pearn, who is running the team's rookie camp. "Even in the drills, he wanted to find a way to finish his checks. You can tell he has the degree of skill that warranted him being picked in the first round. It also shows that he's played with some older guys, because he's got a lot of composure, maybe a bit ahead of the guys who have played major junior. It comes from that experience."
While the Senators brains trust is watching the moves of all 22 players in camp -- general manager John Muckler and coach Jacques Martin took in the action from the seats yesterday -- Volchenkov is one of the few who stands a realistic chance of making the Senators this season.
Volchenkov scored four goals and 16 assists last season for Moscow's legendary Central Red Army team. He was captain of Russia's world junior team, scoring the game winning goal in Russia's 5-4 gold medal victory over Canada. He also played for Russia's national team at the world championships in May, earning a silver medal.
Volchenkov, listed at 6-0 and 209 pounds, also comes to the Senators with strong bloodlines. His father, Alexei, played for the Red Army in the 1970's and 1980's.
But as strong as Volchenkov's credentials are, one of the biggest handicaps he faces in adapting to the North American game quickly is conquering English. He barely speaks a word.
Coaches regularly took the Russian defenceman aside yesterday to make sure he understood what was going on during practice drills. Christoph Schubert, the Senators' 20-year-old German defence prospect who was paired with Volchenkov during the workout, also went to the chalkboard to explain the nuances of a particular drill.
With the translation help of Senators left-winger Petr Schastlivy, a fellow Russian, Volchenkov agreed the language barrier is a problem.
"It's my first season here, it's very tough not knowing English," he said.
But Volchenkov claimed he was satisfied with his play on the ice yesterday.
"I feel very good on the ice, I haven't skated for 10 days," he said. "I'm a little tired. If you haven't skated for 10 or 15 days, it is a little tough. But I will work 100 per cent to get ready for (main) training camp. I'll be ready."
While Volchenkov's skills and ability to play a physical game have never been debated, his conditioning has been a source of concern in the past. His listed weight of 209 pounds raised a few questionable eyebrows at practice yesterday. The good thing about the next six weeks for the Senators is that rookie camp and main training camp, which opens Sept. 14, should force the defenceman to work off a hamburger or two.
After two practices today and a single practice tomorrow, Senators rookies will face their peers from the Montreal Canadiens, Phoenix Coyotes and Tampa Bay Lightning in a tournament at Hull's Robert Guertin Arena from Wednesday through Sunday.
"He's got good skills and he's obviously strong," said Muckler.
"You can tell all those things from one practice. But we'll get another
read at the rookie tournament and the big camp. Before you can draw any
conclusions, you have to see him play in some exhibition games. He'll get
in some of them, but not all of them."
22 марта. Антон Антонович не давал скучать Антону Волченкову
- Советский Спорт.
22 марта. Антон Антонович не давал скучать Антону Волченкову - Советский Спорт.