Alexander Avtsin: From Vympel to Montreal (Photo © Bernard Brault, La Presse)
The story sheds some light over Alexander’s biography and also contains quotes from Alexander himself, his agent and his coaches.
It’s not the first time that this week’s top KHL rookie, Dynamo Moscow player Alexander Avtsin didn’t get a chance to play for Vladimir Plyuschev’s national team. He thus directed his anger to his hometown club as this week he scored two goals and one assist, being picked up as first star in both matches.
Avtsin’s career began in Moscow’s district of Perovo, in the central-eastern part of the city, where he used to play for the local team “Vympel”. The young talent was then noticed by CSKA scouts, who lured him in the Leningradsky boulevard, the headquarters of the popular Russian team, but he was already playing for Dinamo after a couple of seasons.
In spite of his young age, this wasn’t the first year in which he was observed by North American scouts and also Dynamo supporter swere hungry for his KHL debut. Thanks to his excellent stats in the last season, in which he scored more than one hundred points, his name started spreading out as new young star from Russia. Not surprisingly he was drafted last year, by the Montreal Canadiens.
“Playing in the NHL is my dream” – said Avtsin after the draft ceremony in Montreal finished. “Being here I understood how Canadian fans love hockey, their team and hockey players. In the future I will surely try to get into the Canadiens’ lineup, but I intend to spend this season with Dynamo Moscow”.
The experienced coach really wanted to have Avtsin in Canada already this season, but he got back in Russia to fulfill his multi-year contract with Dinamo.
“Yes, our staff liked Avtsin since his first training with the main team during the off-season” – stated this summer Dynamo’s assistant coach Igor Zhilinsky to an interview with Sports.ru. “Clearly he has skills, good hockey intelligence and a bright future in front of him. We count on him already this season. We hope that he’ll bring many benefit to our team”.
After training for the whole preseason with the main team, he started the season as spare. For his development he also spent some time in the MHL. He wasn’t only one of the league’s faces, but he also demonstrated to have plenty of necessary goal scoring spirit.
Dynamo’s head coach Valery Khomutov, who replaced Sergei Kotov in October, supervised Avtsin for a whole month and started giving Alexander more ice time. However it’s not easy to show the hundred percent playing 7-8 minutes a match.
“Alexander is a determined young player” – said his agent, Alexei Dementiev. “Hockey for him it’s the first thing and this gladdens me. He thinks about it 24 hours a day and he dreams about having a great career. He scored his first goals for Dynamo and we have to give him credit for this. Every training makes him better”.
He scored his very first goal midway through December, with an accurate wristshot which got past Vadim Tarasov, who used to be one of the national team’s goalkeepers.
Only two days later he scored on SKA and Maxim Sokolov and his goal was the tie breaker of the intense match between SKA and Dynamo.
“Now I’m significantly more relaxed than in the season’s start. The game in St. Petersburg was a true war. The most important thing for me is to help my team. Scoring to Neftekhimik was good, but with SKA was just better. Dynamo won the match, the fans were happy and also us and the coaches were satisfied. I do hope that these goals won’t be my last this season. I want to score as much as possible”.
All quotes translated by RussianHockeyFans.com