Vladislav Leontyev: «Neftekhimik is a close-knit team»


Vladislav Leontyev talks about his hockey career and expectations from upcoming season.

– Vladislav, as we know, your father is a famous player. Now he is a head coach of our club. Your older brother is a hockey coach of the children hockey team. Have you ever wanted to try another sport?
– You know, it is obvious, that I wanted to be a hockey player. Sure, my parents did their best to get me interested in hockey. At the age of five, they bought me my first hockey equipment. My father and I spent some time on ice-rink. After several visits to the hockey rink, I said that I did not like skating. My parents did not insist on it. I am grateful for this. A few months later, I tried to skate again.

– What can you tell about your career before you joined Neftekhimik?
– It did not happened the way I would like it to happen. There was no stability. I had to travel a lot. My first steps into professional sports were made in Saratov school. Then moved to Belarus with my father and played there. Later, I returned to Russia. For a couple of years I played in Magnitogorsk, then in Yekaterinburg ... 
In Yekaterinburg, I graduated from a hockey school, played for a year in the YHL team. In addition, I played for Ladya in the MHL (JHL) for a year. After that, joined Gornyak team in the VHL.

– How does it feel to play in a team where the head coach is your father? Is it easier or harder?
– Definitely, it is not easier. You have to work much harder to prove that you deserve to be in the roster. Therefore, I always tried to do my best to make everybodoy be sure that I deserve to play.

– It is clear that your father did a great job in development of your hockey skills. What about your mother?
– You know, she helped me mentaly a lot. She was always ready to help. Therefore, I appreciate that.

– Over the past two seasons, you have pretty good stats ...
– I think so. I got more on-ice time and played on the power play. Nevertheless, I have to work harder.

– What kind of hockey do you prefer?
– Modern hockey consists of quite a lot of things and you have to be better than other players are. It is necessary to mix your skills and physical hockey.

– What are your expectations for the upcoming season? 
 For me, this is a completely new challenge! Now the most important thing is to be in the roster. You need to help the team to win and make playoffs. Sure, I am looking forward to the upcoming season. Neftekhimik is a close-knit team. I know Evgeny Mityakin and Mikhail Nazarov from Gornyak. There are many young guys in the roster and everyone is friendly here.

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