2001 Russian Forward Georgii Larshin (Previous club Moscow Dynamo MHL) was ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft; after a 72 point season with the Bradford Rattlers in 2019-2020. For the 2021-22 season, Georgii was named Captain of MHL Krylia Sevetov Moskva
Interview with Georgii Larshin ‘20 Bradford Rattlers
- Hello! Tell me something about yourself. How did you come to hockey, what clubs did you play in?
Hey! I started hockey at the age of 4 in the capital "Constellation", where I played for 10 years. At the age of 14 I moved to the boarding school of Podolsk “Vityaz”, in the same year the coach of “Dynamo” Nikolay Varyanov noticed me and invited me to his place, where I graduated from. On graduation he signed a contract with the youth team and played for a year at MHC Dynamo, after which he spent a season in the Canadian youth league GMHL, the Bradford Rattlers team. Now I continue my career in Russia, in the MHC “Wings of the Soviets” Setun.
- What difficulties have you faced during your career?
Difficulties haunt the players throughout their careers, from injuries to banal moral recessions. In my case, difficulties began after realizing myself in professional sports, when I moved to Vityaz and began to live independently in a boarding school. At first it was hard, but over time I adapted, I learned to independently solve everyday problems. After Vityaz, I spent 5 excellent seasons at Dynamo. Although I was not a favorite of the coaches, they treated me well. I consider the different approaches of coaches and the styles of the game taught to be one of the biggest difficulties in a professional career.
- What did you think about the Rattlers team?
Our team was amazing and great facilities. We had 42 wins in 42 games in the regular season and went on to win the championship so it was a fun year.
- How did the season with Rattler help you in your career?
I played in the best team and got a lot of ice time to score goals and points. The season sure helped a lot with the confidence to be that kind of player in a good team.
- After Canada, you signed a professional contract in HockeyEttan, and now entering 6th season with Vasteras IK in Allsvenskan. How did this come to be?
After my season with the Rattlers I got an offer to come play in Sweden’s 3rd division. Played well and started to learn how to play on a professional level. I got signed by Västerås IK and that was my first time I had hockey as my full time job, everything you dreamed of as a kid. It’s a great place and I feel like we’re in contention every year for the spots to move to SHL.
- What goals are next for yourself?
SHL. Would love to make Västerås IK an SHL team again. But just play my best and see what happens.
- Finally, any advice to young players looking at Canadian hockey path??
For me, it was a great experience. Fun adventure where you meet long time friends and develop yourself as a person. I was what you call a “late bloomer” and found out late in my teens I wanted to pursue a career in hockey. Never gave up and took a very different way to where I am today. My advice is, work harder than the rest, never give up and don’t be afraid to try something different than others to make it.
- After “Dynamo” you were offered a contract in “Amur Tigers”, why did you decide to abandon the MHL and go to Canada?
The moment in my career came when I realized that I had been too late. I considered that the conditions that were provided to me in the MHL are worse than in Canada. So I decided to try myself in North America.
- The GMHL is a paid league, and many players and their parents consider the level of hockey play in it to be low because of this. What do you think about this? Why did you go from free JHL to paid GMHL?
I must say right away that the level in this league is far from weak. Naturally, he falls short of the Russian MHL, but he also does not lose to smithereens. This league is a kind of springboard to higher leagues. It is very problematic to leave for Canada at my age directly to CHL, since Europeans get there through a draft at 16. I had a chance to come to GMHL and show myself in front of the scouts, which I did. Scouts from different leagues came to the games of our team, including the New Jersey Titans of the NAHL league in the USA, who were interested in me in the first place. Getting a visa is another matter. In this I was less fortunate, because I was refused an American visa and could not come to the NAHL team to watch
- How does GMHL differ from MHL?
These leagues are different. Hockey in Canada is tougher and the GMHL is no different. In moments you need to think quickly and make decisions: if they meet on the field, they will be greeted harshly. In the JHL, there is more speed hockey, but due to the large size of the field, the player has more time to make a decision, although the pace of the game is high. I also want to note that there are more individual players in Canada who are not afraid to take risks and create something at the wrong gate.
- What do you think about the GMHL and the team you played for?
I played for the Bradford Rattlers club. This is one of the favorites in the GMHL. Our team was strong, we were led by experienced and competent coaches.
- How were you met at Rattlers? How did the adaptation go?
The Rattlers were well received, the guys immediately helped to adapt. I lived in a family without Russians, where I was warmly received. About the Russians in the team, you can separately write an article of 50 pages, I really miss the guys. I quickly got used to English and the specifics of another country, but at first it was not easy.
- What did the season in GMHL give you?
First of all, the season at GMHL gave me more confidence. Great confidence from the coaches and all the playing time bore fruit. I trained a lot both in the gym and on the ice, because there was a lot of extra ice. We also regularly trained once a week with the assistant head coach of the OHL Barrie Colts team, Todd Miller, which also allowed us to develop skills.
- What are you going to do next and what goals do you set for yourself?
The year spent in Canada gave me a lot, now I try to concentrate on the season, develop every day as a player and get into the KHL.
- And finally, what advice would you give to guys who want to continue their career abroad?
In everything and always you need to look for benefits for yourself, and if you see a further perspective outside the Russian leagues, then with confidence and without fear, take this step and leave. Our whole life is a risk, and wherever you play, everything always depends on yourself. Believe in yourself, and then everything will work out!