Not like Gretzky, Lemieux. He is simply Ovechkin
02.01.2003. Cole, Cam. National Post
Rising Russian star (Toronto
edition headline.); Russian junior star sets sights on NHL: Alexander
Ovechkin: Can't-miss prospect not eligible for draft until 2004 (All
but Toronto edition headline.)
HALIFAX - It is not necessary to know a lot of English words to do what Alexander Ovechkin does.
"Mario Lemieux," he can say. "Owen Nolan." Also "Nicklas Lidstrom." His favourite NHL players.
And "San Jose Sharks," the first NHL logo he saw on TV when league
games began to be televised in Russia, and therefore his favourite team.
His first Russian hockey hero?
Why? He shrugs.
For purposes of the IIHF world junior hockey championship, the 17-
year-old Russian star -- already pegged to be the No. 1 pick in the
2004 NHL entry draft -- is doing his talking on the ice, with a pair of
hat tricks in his first four games, while leading Russia to a perfect
4-0 mark in Pool A, mirroring Canada's sweep of its games in Pool B.
Yesterday was travel day for the A Pool teams, who have played all
their round-robin games in Sydney, N.S., but the Russian Federation
made Ovechkin available to the media, and the tall, dark- haired
teenager seemed quite comfortable in the spotlight.
Already established as a pro with Moscow Dynamo of the Russian league,
and with a mother, Tatiana, who won gold medals as a basketball player
with the Soviet team in both the '76 Montreal and '80 Moscow Olympics,
Ovechkin has been around stardom enough by now to be ready for what's
"We watched Canada's games on TV when we were in Sydney," Ovechkin said
through an interpreter. "They are a very good team with a lot of
enthusiasm when they go on the ice.
"But I think if we make the final, we can handle them, too. We'll see who is the better team."
Scouts are pretty much unanimous on Ovechkin's prospects. He can't miss.
Introduced to the Dynamo club by his older brother, Sergei, who died
two years ago in circumstances Ovechkin declined to talk about
yesterday, the 6-foot-1, 187-pound left winger is not only a sniper,
but a big, physical player who is not afraid of contact.
"He will dominate the tournament," Philadelphia Flyers scout Inge Hammarstrom predicted, before it began.
"I cannot compare him with anyone I have seen earlier," said Alexei
Panfilov, the sports director of Moscow Dynamo. "He is not like
Maltsev, not like Lemieux, not like Gretzky. He is ... Ovechkin.
"And he is already a great role model. He is a good son, a good brother
and a good neighbour. He doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke, he is good in
school, and he lives hockey."
"It is my life," Ovechkin said yesterday. "It is the air that I breathe."
Among the other English words he knows are "Don Meehan," so in 18
months or so, the Toronto-based agent is going to make Ovechkin a very
wealthy young man.
Первая страничка молодежных чемпионатов мира 2003 года
|Подгруппа А - подробнее
Россия, Швейцари, США, Словакия, Белоруссия
|Подгруппа В - подробнее
Канада, Финляндия, Чехия, Швеция, Германия
|За 7-10 места - подробнее
Швейцария, Швеция, Германия, Белоруссия
|1/4 финала - подробнее
США - Чехия
Финляндия - Словакия
|1/2 финала - подробнее
Россия - Финляндия
Канада - США
|Финал - подробнее
За 5 место. Словакия - Чехия
За 3 место. США - Финляндия
За 1 место. Канада - Россия