Belarusian players have earned a reputation in the NHL. Players like Ruslan Salei and the Kostitsyn brothers are already well-known in North America but the new generation of players is coming. 5’11, 173 lbs center Sergei Drozd is among them. He played well for the national team at this year’s U-18 tournament and was the best face-off man of the tournament.
HF: What kind of guy are you off the ice?
SD: I’m a kind person, sociable but don’t like noisy places. I like to spend most of the time with my family and my close friends.
HF: How would you describe yourself as a player?
SD: I’m skilled two-way center with playmaking ability and good work habits.
HF: What did you learn from this season?
SD: I understood that to compete on highest level a player needs to think and move quicker. Now I see how important team chemistry is and feel myself much more confident on ice. After this season I even more want to play hockey.
HF: What were the highlights of your very successful year?
SD: The Under-18 tournament. It was my first tournament for my national team.
HF: How was the experience?
SD: I wanted to play for national team for a long time and I’m very happy that I participated for Belarus in it. The tournament was great, I realized what I can do to be better, compared myself to the best players of my age and understood that I can play at that level.
HF: How would you describe how you played there?
SD: I think I played good, got a lot of ice time. I was named among top three players of the Team Belarus in the end of the tournament.
HF: Who was the biggest influence in your hockey career?
SD: All my family. They always supported me, believed in me and helped me in any situation.
HF: What differences do you see in yourself now compared to the start of the season?
SD: Now I’m stronger physically, skate better, read the game better, more confident. And I love hockey even more.
HF: What plans do you have for the summer?
SD: I already prepare for the new season. The summer is going to be hard and full of work.
HF: What do you like to do in your down time?
SD: I like to watch movies, listen to the music, play computer games, spend my time with my family, have a good time with my friends.
HF: What are your biggest strengths?
SD: Face-offs, passing, defensive game, puck control.
HF: What aspect of your game do you feel you need to work most on?
SD: My skating and speed.
HF: How do you prepare before the game?
SD: Listen to the music, try not to speak much with my teammates and focus on the game only.
HF: Have you heard people making comparisons of you and current NHL players?
SD: Yes, they compared me with Peter Forsberg.
HF: Who is your favorite player?
SD: Pavel Datsyuk from the Detroit Red Wings.
HF: What is your favorite NHL team?
SD: The Red Wings. Aging but great players, I like the hockey the Red Wings play.
HF: How do you feel about the upcoming draft?
SD: I try not think about it much. But for sure I want to be drafted.
HF: What would you have liked to have been if not a hockey player?
SD: I would have been a soccer player.
HF: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SD: I see myself in the NHL.