Evgeny Grachev: “The Rangers confirmed I’m out of the WJC” (Photo © Russianprospects.com)
In this exclusive RussianHockeyFans.com interview, New York Rangers’ prospect, 19 years old Evgeny Grachev confirms that he won’t go to the WJC, talks about his AHL experience and hints that he isn’t going to follow Nikita Filatov’s route and bolt back to the KHL.
Hello Evgeny. Recently the Russian Hockey Federation site has published news that the Rangers ruled you out of the WJC. Has anyone from the club talked to you about this decision? Has the RHF approached you either?
I’ve seen this information on the internet and I’ve asked my agent to learn if they really weren’t releasing me. And the New York Rangers confirmed that they wouldn’t release me. And no one from the RHF tried to get in touch with me.
How do you like playing in the AHL? Do you find it more interesting than the OHL?
The AHL is completely a new league, it’s a league for men who wait their chance to get in the NHL and thus the level is higher, the battles are tougher. But to tell the truth hockey is a bit defensive.
Nikita Filatov and Viktor Tikhonov have just returned back to Russia, maybe they lacked some patience. How long are you going to wait your chance in the AHL?
I don’t really think about things like that, about the time that it needs to me to get there. I just play hockey and try to improve as much as I can.
Do you think that you are progressing playing in the AHL?
Yes, I do think that I am progressing in this league. The level is good and it’s hard to play here.
Wouldn’t it better for you to get back in the KHL, where you would get good time on ice in the Europe’s best league?
Well, no one would give me ice time in the KHL.
Do you regret going overseas so early?
No, I don’t regret it. In fact, it would have been better if I had gone even earlier.