directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: More Filatov

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

More Filatov

I don't know how many people reading this make it over to HFBoards but there is a thread over there that is translating Nikita Filatov's blog for us English readers -- his latest entry is a really interesting read:


Russian hockey player Nikita Filatov in hi blog on is telling what scary tests are offered to the young players before the draft, and explains what exactly those types of events are held for.

Tests for the players, who are going to be drafted this year started with a funny occurrence. The guy that was explaining the rules for the exercise for testing the balance did not fully explain all of the rules. So I started doing it wrong.

Let me tell you in a little more detail. So you are standing on a wooden platform, there is a specially marked spot, after you catch your balance; you are supposed to release both hands and stand for a minute. Nobody told me initially that both hands need to be released. I was releasing one hand, than the other. I was corrected. It was funny, nothing more than that. Everybody laughed. Afterwards I did everything the right way.

The balance test ended up being the easiest one. Afterwards – pure hell. Let me tell you, I have never faced with anything similar in Russia. And you know, I haven’t been this tired in awhile, as I was tired afterwards.

First there was bench press. There are no minimums there, as many as you do – that’s what is accomplished. (Do as many as you can). I lifted the weight of 68 kilograms 6 or seven times. Exact number of reps for sit ups or push ups I don’t know – there is a person, who is assigned to count everything. The key is to do them right. After you straighten after doing a rep, a bell rings. Ok, understood, now I can do another one. Results are not announced, but the controller records all of them. There is no minimum either. If you feel that you can’t do any more, finish up.

But all of that were just flowers, in comparison to the bikes. Work on those two machines I will remember for awhile. You cannot imagine how we felt when we were getting off of them. The head was spinning, spots in the eyes. Many guys were nauseous puking. I was not an exception.

So, the first bicycle. I get on it and the first thirty-forty seconds picking up speed, resistance is not bad and everything seems ok. But then there is an order to go “faster”, “more speed” “even more speed”. And meanwhile, resistance is added to the bike. You can not lower the speed, spinning the pedals and you don’t even remember, honestly, where you are.

The break between the two bike tests – fifteen minutes. All of that time I spent on the floor, trying to recuperate. Because what followed was more difficult.

On the second one – every minute resistance is increased, but I am supposed to keep the speed constant. And like that every minute. After 6-7 minutes you just can’t do it. And I am not only spinning the pedals. I have a tube in my mouth, a pin on my nose, because I am only allowed to breathe with my mouth. In to the tube! Around the bike there are people standing, watching that you do not throw the pin off. I really wanted to! And I was probably not alone (in wanting to do that).

After everything was over, I did not have any strength for anything. And this event is pretty official. Scouts all around, reporters. Reporters took a couple of interviews with the same questions. Kind of like, am I ready to come over this fall, whether I want to play in America? I told them about it at least a thousand times. I am thinking “let me go now”.

Do not remember how I made it to my room. It would be enough to say that I fell asleep in the bathroom and slept there for an hour and a half. Then, found enough strength to move to the bed. And fell asleep again. Telling you, I have not faced with anything like that in Russia.

But I do feel, after all, that I did well (completed). Read reports that some of the scouts praised my workout. That’s good. But main thing, I did realize for myself, that I can withstand serious workloads. And it has to be counted that summer is not when I am in the best of shape. The season is behind.

Another thing that I realized – is that not only statistics are written down at these tests; how many times you bench-pressed or how many push up you did. They look at one’s character. Can you do another rep, when strength, as it seems, has left you? May be one more? Can you fight yourself? I sure hope that I left a good impression as to these criteria also.

Ahead I have a meeting with representatives of “Toronto”, afterwards possibly another test, next week I will return to Moscow and will relax until the draft ceremony. In the middle of the month I will fly to Canada again.

Getting harder and harder to see this kid dropping. The Toronto nugget is interesting. Remember they draft right after we do. However if you remember in his previous blog he mentioned that Columbus was showing quite a bit of interest as well and even invited him to a dinner.

I still go with one of the big 4 d-men if they are on the board at 6 (and we don't trade) but if they are gone I think the Jackets have got to pick this kid if they are 100% convinced he's coming to North America next season.



Pub said...

That was funny as hell to ready. Sounds like they kick those guys asses!!!

Anonymous said...

I have heard that if this guy was named Jones and from Western Canada, he would rival Stamkos for the number 1 spot.

I have also heard high praise for Bogosian (sp?)both character-wise and from the combine.

Anonymous said...

Although strength and conditioning is important, I would imagine that how the boys handle this type of testing would be of greater importance and play a larger role in teams' evaluative process.

Fitness levels can change in the matter of months, but a young man's character and willingness to put forth everything is, at least partially, revealed under these circumstances.

Some kids may not have access to higher levels of strength training at this point in their careers. In fact, the players that might be most intriguing could be the players who are ranked as first rounders yet have lower levels of conditioning. If these guys can be considered first round picks with less than stellar conditioning, imagine the possibilities and potential.

Douglas said...

I like the point that anonymous (#2) made. It reminds me of the classic: you can draft one of two players who are equal in every way, except one has poor form, while the other has polished form. The idea is that you pick the unpolished kid, because if he's that good in his current condition, imagine how he'll be when you train him.

Also, LTL, I love hearing about Filatov. Part of me almost hopes that the defenders get drafted in the top 5 just so we can snag him. I think either way, we are going to get an incredible piece to our team.