“I had the best children’s coach in the world”

Ivan Nikolishin, the son of the famous hockey player and coach, the 1993 world champion in the Russian national team Andrei Nikolishin, who now works as an assistant to the head coach of the Chinese team Alexey Kovalev, became the leader of the Kunlun, which is forced to be based this season in the suburbs of Mytishchi. On Sunday, their club will host the leader of the Western Conference CSKA, 24-year-old Ivan – their pupil. In an interview with Izvestia, Kunlun’s top scorer, who scored points in three consecutive games in the KHL for the first time, talked about his father’s influence on his career, his retirement from his native team and how to get high on the ice, playing his favorite game of millions.

“They say on the Internet that you were born in Moscow, but they say that in fact it is not so and your small homeland – the city of Hartford, Connecticut, where your father began his overseas career. “Yes, that’s right, I was born just at the end of Dad’s first full season in the NHL, on Cosmonautics Day.

” Until you were 11 years old, you were engaged in various sports, but you chose to play hockey. How did it happen?

-Parents really wanted me and my brother to be busy with something all the time, not just sitting at home and fooling around, so we were doing football, tennis and basketball. Also tried to play very popular in the States of lacrosse. I think it affected me a lot and only in a positive way. I have become versatile, I can play various sports, which also affects my actions on the ice.

“Of course, my father played a role in my choice. At the same time, I like to play hockey and now, and my father with his experience was always ready to come to the rescue and support the council.

Have you ever experienced any problems because of your size (175 cm and 80 kg)? There are two polar opinions. On the one hand, it is considered that small technical hockey players should have the talent and technique of Artemy Panarin, Patrick Kane or Johnny God, on the other – we see a bunch of examples when in the first round of the NHL draft choose “diabolos” who for children and young men all tore, and then spend their entire career in the AHL or ECHL.

“Every hockey player has his own strengths. If a player is small or not very physically strong, then he must take something else: speed, hockey intelligence, technique. I don’t think my dimensions are a minus, on the contrary, I try to turn it into a plus – to be fast, brisk, so that the big defenders can not catch me. Yes, nature has ordered as it is, but it’s okay, we will work with what is available (smiles).