SKA-1946 forward Alexander Volkov was recently interviewed by Yevgeni Belousov of Sport Express. Text of the original interview can be found at Sport-express.ru. Volkov was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and was signed to three-year, entry level contract today. The current plans for him are that he starts the season in AHL Syracuse. This interview was conducted before he signed that contract.
If you use this translated text in any way, please credit Sport-express.ru and Igor Nikonov (@nikonov_igor) of Raw Charge for the translation.
Alexander Volkov: I didn’t watch the draft and found out about the selection from my agent, who was in Chicago. I should have attended the ceremony as well, but I’ll get my visa only on Monday.
Yevgeni Belousov: You haven’t played in the KHL yet. How are you planning to surprise the Lightning management?
Volkov: I think I should have played in SKA’s first team, but their management had other plans. All their efforts were directed towards the result. I haven’t had the time to play with older players and really demonstrate my abilities, so I have something to prove. As a young player, my strengths are speed and pressure. I’d like to become better and reach a higher level every year. Anyway, they’ll be surprised when they see me at the development camp.
Belousov: Has your contract with SKA already expired?
Volkov: Yes. SKA still has the rights on me; to retain them, the club offered me a new deal, but I haven’t signed anything yet.
Belousov: If everything goes well, are you ready to start your career overseas?
Volkov: Everything will be decided this summer. If all is good, I’ll start fighting for a spot in the Lightning lineup.
Belousov: Did you get an invitation to the rookie camp?
Volkov: They’ve already called me. I’m flying out as soon as I get back my passport.
Belousov: Did you know about the interest from the Lightning during the past seasons?
Volkov: Yes. The team’s representatives came to see me three times, before and after my injury. At the end of the season, they told me that they were going to select me if they had a chance.
Belousov: You were drafted unexpectedly high.
Volkov: I think that’s because I’ve trained with the junior national team and played well at the 2016 CIBC Canada Russia Series. Probably it was there where the scouts discovered my abilities.
Belousov: Did other teams have interest in you?
Volkov: Several teams have been interested in me in the last two years, but not as actively as the Lightning.
Belousov: Have you been following the Lightning this season?
Volkov: Of course, about as much as other teams with Russian players. I didn’t have a preference for any particular team.
Belousov: Jon Cooper led Team Canada at the World Championship. From their performance, have you found anything interesting about your future coach?
Volkov: He created a powerful, aggressive team. I loved the way they played, but nothing really surprised me. They were basically ordinary Canadians: they ran and pressed.
Belousov: It’s pretty vacant on the right wing of the Lightning. Are you ready to make the team this year?
Volkov: I’ll do my best. We’ll get to know each other at the development camp, and I’ll try to prove myself to the new coaches so that they understand me better. I’m ready for everything.