As you can find here, we've been posting a translation of Sens prospect Alexander Nikulin's blog. This guy seems to have a good head on his shoulders and genuinely wants to make the team coming off a strong rookie camp. If he doesn't he'll go back to play in Russia another year.
Here's his latest entry:
September 12: It'd be nice to see Ottawa.
"As expected, a team representative met me at the airport. Started saying something in English very rapidly. Obviously, I didn't understand anything and shied away a bit. My girlfriend helped: I phoned her and she translated. Turned out it was nothing serious. We had to wait for somebody else.What that means is that I need to work on my English as soon as possible.
The first day I had a physical. Ottawa's defenseman Anton Volchenkov helped there. Thanks to him for that. By the way, Anton is training on his own for now. The training camp for the big club hasn't started yet.We're staying at this five-star hotel, a very nice one. I'm sharing a room with Ilja Zubov, who arrived in Canada earlier and has become accustomed to the local way of life. So he's helping me.
Ilja describes his first impressions of being in Canada and they're similar to my own. He too was in shock from the practices and games, but then got used to that.Certainly, to better learn the language, it'd be best to room with a Canadian, but, truthfully, I don't think I could do it. We wouldn't understand one another and just not talk, basically. That would be tough.
Haven't been out to the city yet. Absolutely no time because of the prospects tournament. And our rink is located in the suburbs, and the hotel is nearby. I hope there will be time to see the city, though. Right after the prospects tournament.Visitors to the blog are asking if there is interest here in the Super Series between Russian and Canadian junior teams. To be honest, I haven't noticed any excitement. And no one's asked me anything.
We don't have practices as such. Prior to a game we skate a bit, and not even every time. Before the Pittsburgh game they let us sleep. And before that the practice was a simple one: we worked on shooting the puck and entering the zone. Nothing supernatural.
Haven't made friends with any of the locals as yet. Spend all the time with Kasper from Latvia (Kaspars Daugavins), my linemate, and Ilja Zubov. By the way, Kasper speaks Russian and English well. He helps whenever any problems arise. And another curious detail. We've played three games, but I haven't met any other Russian players. In Ottawa it's just us two, and that's it for now.
I saw that the visitors to the blog were asking about my chances with Ottawa. Said I couldn't count on the first two lines of the roster. Let's wait until the main training camp starts. Undoubtedly, it will be extremely hard but I'll try to make the team. Even on the third line. That's still not bad.
Want to say to Denis Parshin that I haven't gotten the jumpsuit for him yet. Let him cope on his own, there's no problem in Russia with it. I'll buy it only in case I'll have to go back. And I wouldn't want to go back - I'd really like to cement my place in the NHL. "