In the 6th round of the 2021 NHL Draft the Sabres have picked their 4th and final Russian player. This number has tied the amount of russian players selected by the Sabres in the previous 17 years (Glotov, Zadorov, Grigorenko, Buravchikov)! You would guess that Novikov is a typical big man defender with defensive mindset. Reality is a bit different. Here is a short inteview with big Russian.
How would you describe yourself as a player? What are your biggest advantages and where do you need to get better?
„My advantages are in using the force of my body. Also I like to maintain the team attack. On the other side, I think it would be worth in adding to my skating ability.“
You are big body defenseman. Some people were comparing you to other Nikita – Zadorov. Do you like this comparation?
„It is good when you are compared to a player who plays in the NHL. But there is still a lot of work ahead of me.“
Who is your hockey idol?
„Most of all I like Victor Hedman.“
What style of game do you like to play?
„I like attacking style of play. I enjoy support my teammates in attack.“
Did you have any idea that you will be drafted by the Sabres?
„Yes, I thought it will happen.“
Are you happy that three other guys from Russia were drafted by the Sabres so you can work together a bit?
„Yes. It is very cool when your friends are chosen to be on the same team.“
You have played in Dynamo with Alexander Kisakov. How would you describe him as a player and teammate?
„Alexander is a very good hockey player and friend. It is a pleasure to play with him.“
In Juniors you were a captain of the team. Do you think you are a leader?
„I can not answer that. You need to get an outside opinion. The main thing is that the team considers and chooses his captain.“
Where will you play next season? KHL or MHL?
„I will be fixed in KHL“
Some russian players are more comfortable playing at home. Is your dream to play in NHL?
„Of course I dream about it. This is the dream of every hockey player.“
Do you know any russian player that have played for Buffalo?
„Alexander Mogilny is in my mind“
How long do we have to wait untill we can see you taking step to AHL/NHL?
„I will work on myself and we will see when it will be.“