Likhachev in full adaptation

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Some european players crossing the Atlantic in order to familiarize themselves with the style of the north american game without too many problems. For others, it is more complicated.

In the second category, we can count the talented winger of the Russian Olympic of Gatineau Yaroslav Likhachev. The attacker, 17-year-old was brought to Gatineau to start the season with great expectations placed in him. The Cup Hlinka-Gretzky, in August, it was very well done with the Russian national team, ranking second on the pointers of her training, just behind Vasily Podkolzin, perceived today as a potential choice of the top 10, even top 5, at the next NHL draft in Vancouver next June. The preliminary list of the Central recruitment of the NHL ranked him as a hope category B (round 2 or 3), while the name of the Likhachev was even in the first round on some lists independent.

And let’s just say it has not missed its first printing.

In his first career game in the QMJHL, the Russian unturned, scoring two goals and two assists in a convincing win 10-4 against the Drillers Val-d’or.

Since then, however, it is a little more difficult. In fact, it has collected only four points in 21 games, including three over his last four outings.

Young team

In a team in transition and made up mostly of young players who are part of the long-term plans of the organization, Likhachev learned the basics of hockey in north america to the harsh, admittedly. It is also necessary to recognise that at the present time, Likhachev is the fourth-youngest player eligible for the next draft. Born on September 2, 2001, it was only two weeks of having to wait one more year before getting his / her eligibility.

The coach of Olympic Eric Landry does, in fact, not too much with the slowest start of his attacker.

“It is always easier when you have a team full of veteran experience to bring young players and mentor them. Yaroslav has excellent skills and he sees very well the ice, but, at the same time, when you’re playing with younger players, it is more difficult. We count on a first trio of players over old, but eventually, it crumbles “, he explains.


Attacker dynamics, the young Russian has sometimes a tendency to overly rely on his individual skills, to try to maneuver too much, rather than take a shot or make a pass.

All of this comes with learning the north american-style, ” adds Landry. And he knows something, because he played for nine seasons in Europe in the course of his career as a player.

“For me, the important thing is to see our young players develop match by match. In the case of Yaroslav, he starts to get used to the speed of the game north-south, unlike the style of east-west advocated in Europe. He realizes that the game is more physical here and, therefore, that you have less space on the ice. He still needs to eliminate some habits that he had in Europe in order to have a style is more north american, more effective here. “