If you haven’t heard the name Miks Indrasis yet, keep your eyes and ears open. The undrafted 6-3, 196-pound winger has already made some considerable noise in his first two games for Team Latvia at the 2012 World Championships, having scored a goal against Russia in a surprisingly tight 5-2 loss and then chipping in a goal and an assist in a 3-2 victory over Germany. Most impressive is the confidence he’s been able to show on the ice with the puck on his stick.
Hockey’s Future had a chance to talk to a very jovial Indrasis after his big debut victory with the Latvian men’s team.
Hockey’s Future: OK, just to start things off, how do you pronounce your name?
Miks Indrasis: It’s like ‘Mix In-draw-sheez’. You need to emphasis the ‘draw-sheez’ part.
HF: Ok, good stuff. Well you’ve had an amazing start to your tournament. What has it been like for you thus far?
MI: I am very happy with things now and I definitely did not expect this kind of start. Now I feel great and really confident.
HF: You’ve had a goal in each game and you added a nice assist today as well. Are you surprised with your offensive output thus far?
MI: Yes, but I have been working very, very hard on my offensive game and learning how to make an impact with the skills I have.
HF: Your style of play here has exuded confidence and you like to lead the rush and work in the corners. Do have a favorite player whose game you like to emulate?
MI: Well it’s not really like just one player. I have three or four favorites. One of them is definitely Evgeni Malkin. Another is Pavel Datsyuk.
HF: Good role models to base your game on. How was that then for you to play your first ever WC game at the men’s level against exactly those two players?
MI: It was an absolutely incredible experience. I was just sitting there on the bench and watching everything they did. There’s so much they do that I want to combine into my game. They have so many ideas. They are so smart and creative.
HF: How do you like working with Coach Ted Nolan?
MI: It’s wonderful. He’s a really nice guy who cares and takes time to advise you about what you do and what you can do better. The first time he saw me play he immediately talked to me and discussed my possibilities. I really liked him right away.
HF: And he liked you?
MI: Thankfully, yes. He was able to recognize things about my game that I often thought or wondered about, but that many other coaches never talked to me about.
HF: So is it your dream to one day be in the NHL?
MI: Oh yes, of course. I have to laugh a bit at the question, because there’s no doubt about that.
HF: Tell me a bit about what you did this past season?
MI: Well, I split the season between Metalurg Liepajas in Belarus and HK Riga in the Russian MHL, which is one level below the KHL. My start wasn’t too good. The statistics were okay, but things were not so perfect. There were some problems for me in the environment there. Then in December, I was able to return back to my home club in Riga and my play improved considerably. I felt like I was back at home and things were more comfortable. Of course, Riga is a lovely city and home is home. I was simply able to find my way back to my game without outside interference.
HF: The player pool in Latvia isn’t that big. Do you know some of the younger, draft-eligible Latvians like Teodors Bluegers, Rudolfs Kalvitis or the highly talented underager, Rihards Bukarts?
MI: I know of Bluegers, but we don’t know each other. I’m not that familiar with the boys currently playing in North America. I do know Rihards. I like him very much. He’s the younger brother of my teammate here, Roberts Bukarts, who is the same age as me. We also played together this season for HK Riga.
HF: Do you already know where you will be next season?
MI: Um, Dinamo Riga, I hope.
HF: So you do have a contract with the club?
HF: OK. But if an NHL team would invite you to its prospects camp this summer, would you go?
MI: I think so, yes. I mean, actually of course. I would definitely jump on that opportunity.