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Nail Yakupov: "Out of the new players, I know Vladimir Tkachyov and Jori Lehtera"

Pre-season trainingNail Yakupov
HC SKA press-service

- I enjoyed the summer, I saw everyone I wanted to. I missed ice hockey too. Of course, not all of us love the training camps, but it's a part of our job.

- Did you keep in shape?

- Yes, of course, I had enough time to both rest and train. Sometimes, I'm bored after having a month off. I trained at home, in the gym and on the ice.

- SKA have a new head coach.

- It's not our job to judge the coaches. We all know Alexei Kudashov well. Alexei, Anvar Gatiyatulin and Ilya Vorobyov all worked hard together in the previous season, we have a task of being a united group and playing the game well.

- Do you know any of SKA's new players?

- Only Vladimir Tkachyov. Yes, we have all been at the Hockey City complex, but we were there at different times. Oh, and I have known Jori Lehtera for a long time from the St. Louis Blues, we'll see each other when he arrives in Saint Petersburg.

Nail Yakupov: "Out of the new players, I know Vladimir Tkachyov and Jori Lehtera"

- SKA have switched to the smaller ice.

- To be honest, if no one had told me that we've switched to the smaller ice, I wouldn't have thought of that when I skated at Hockey City yesterday. That was probably because it was the first day. When we all train together, I think it will be noticeable. It's 100% certain that the game will become faster, we won't have a lot of time to make decisions with the puck.

- What are your expectations for the upcoming campaign?

- We always have maximum goals. This team has had big targets and won the KHL Gagarin Cup. We will do everything possible to move forward and win the trophy.

- They say that the second season with a new club is the hardest.

- Yes, it's always difficult. Everyone depends on how you prepare and how you eat. You have to be ready for physical play both in training and in matches. No one has taken away competition. In sport, you can never tell what will happen tomorrow or in two years' time. I'm always ready for difficulties, the main thing is that I can move forward.

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