“Fearsome Young Sharks” Prospect Profile – Daniil Sobchenko

Photo courtesy of Alexander Zimmermann {@Alex_Z_Sharkie}

***Author’s Note……This research article would not have been possible without the help of Alessandro Seren Rosso, who not only sent me the Russian transcript of his interview with Daniil Sobchenko but also helped me with the English translation of the interview after Google Translate left me bewildered with their translation.***

With the 166th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the San Jose Sharks selected forward Daniil Sobchenko of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the Kontinental Hockey League {KHL}.

Described by hockeysfuture.com as “a versatile forward whose strengths are his excellent passing game and hockey sense, paried with above average skating and soft hands,” Sobchenko is the first Sharks draft pick from a Russian team since defenseman Andrei Zyuzin in 1996.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Sobchenko was a two-sport athlete growing up, playing both hockey and soccer.  However, Sobchenko didn’t realize how much he loved the ice until he was away from the game for too long.

“My grandfather coached the soccer team in Kiev and my father got me to Dynamo Kiev Soccer Academy on a tryout,” said Sobchenko in a 2010 interview with Alessandro Seren Rosso for sports-planet.ru.  “After the first workout, they told me that I was good enough to play for them.  So I started playing for their main team {Dynamo has one team in the elite tier league and one in the second tier}.  I played soccer for about a month but then I realized I liked hockey more.”

Sobchenko’s hockey talents were first noticed by Yaroslavl when he was 10 years old after finishing as the leading scorer in a tournament.

“Immediately, they called me at home and invited me to play in Yaroslavl,” said Sobchenko.  “But my parents told me I had to stay home for another year.”

At age 11, Sobchenko had a tryout with Spartak-90 in Moscow and was asked to come to training camp in July.  A few days later, Sobchenko got a call back from Yaroslavl and was asked to tryout with the 91 team.  Having to make a tough choice, Sobchenko decided to play for Lokomotiv due to the fact there were a couple of coaches there from Kiev and there weren’t many options for hockey in his hometown.

“At first, it was a bit hard, but then I got used to everything and everything was alright,” said Sobchenko.  “Yes, I’m happy and do not regret the path I chose.”

In Sobchenko’s first season with Lokomotiv’s junior farm team in 2007-08, Sobchenko registered 10 points on six goals and four assists in 14 regular season games and had three assists in Lokomotiv’s eight playoff games.  In addition, Sobchenko skated for Russia in the 2007 U17 World Hockey Challenge where he registered four points on three goals and one assist in four games played.

The following season, 2008-09, Sobchenko torched the league for 87 points on 44 goals and 43 assists to go along with 53 penalty minutes in 66 games played. 

Expected to become a star of the Russian Minor Hockey League {MHL}, the relatively unknown Sobchenko sent shock-waves throughout the Russian hockey realm when he earned a spot on Lokomotiv’s KHL team for the 2009-10 season after a solid pre-season.

“I think there is nothing unexpected,” said Sobchenko.  “Yes, it is quite possible that I could play in the MHL and show good results there, but you need to grow, progress and strive to play at the highest level.  However, I am glad to play for our youth team and am always ready to help them.”

In 35 games played with Lokomotiv’s KHL team, Sobchenko registered six points on five goals and one assist to go along with six penalty minutes before being sent down to Lokomotiv’s MHL team, Loko Yaroslavl, for six games, where Sobchenko recorded four assists.

This past season, Sobchenko split time between Lokomotiv’s KHL team, where he registered two points on one goal and one assist in 16 games played, and their MHL team, where he registered 20 points on 10 goals and 10 assists in 14 games played.  Sobchenko rejoined Lokomotiv’s KHL team for their playoff run and registered one assist and 16 penalty minutes in 11 games played.

In addition to playing with both Lokomotiv teams, Sobchenko helped Russia win the Gold medal at the 2011 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships this past winter.

Having never made the national junior team in past years due to conflict with former head coach Vladimir Plyuschev, Sobchenko showcased his talents by registering seven points on four goals and three assists in seven games played while centering the top line alongside Maxim Kitsyn and Vladimir Tarasenko.

Sobchenko plans to stay with Lokomotiv for the time being while improving upon his speed and shot.  When the time comes for Sobchenko to bring his talents to the Shark Tank, Sharks fans can expect someone who is hard-working and can fend for himself, just like his hockey role model Sergei Fedorov.

HIGHLIGHTS

Daniil Sobchenko goal against Canada 12/26/10  {Courtesy of YouTuber user “Nemo20781”}

Daniil Sobchenko goal against Norwary 12/30/10  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Nemo20781”}

Daniil Sobchenko 2nd goal against Norway 12/30/10  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Nemo20781”}

Daniil Sobchenko goal against the Czech Republic 12/31/10  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Nemo20781”}

Post game interview 12/26/10  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Oslya19”}

Post game interview 12/31/10  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Oslya19”}

Post game interview 1/2/11  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Oslya19”}

*Information and videos were courtesy of sharks.nhl.com, www.hockeysfuture.com, www.sports-planet.ru, www.dobberhockey.com, www.russianprospects.com, www.eliteprospects.com, www.wikipedia.com, www.hockeydb.com, blogs.mercurynews.com and www.youtube.com for this post entry.*

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on July 19, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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