“One could expect a threat from everyone.”

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The ice hockey club “Dynamo” (Moscow) on May 3 officially announced that the goalkeeper of the blue-and-white team, Vadim Zherenko, was leaving for Europe and would play in the Finnish championship next season. And last – MHC Dynamo, together with the 20-year-old goalkeeper, won the Kharlamov Cup for the first time in history.

At the same time, Zherenko was recognized as the most valuable player (MVP) in the playoffs of the Youth Hockey League (MHL). Even before the announcement of his departure to Finland, at the gala evening of the closing of the MHL season, he gave an interview to Izvestia, in which he spoke about training with the legend of Russian hockey, the goalkeeper of the main Dynamo team, Alexander Eremenko, commented on communication with the NHL club St. Louis Blues “And called it a plus if the national team did not qualify for the World Youth Championship.

– Do you understand why you were chosen MVP of the Kharlamov Cup?

– No idea. It was a surprise for me. I think the same as for everyone.

– The most difficult moment of the season?

– So it is very difficult to go into details. We finished the season with a victory, so few people will remember bad matches. And the result remains the result: victory is the most important thing. There is no point in remembering when there were bad matches, when there were good ones.

– Why did Dynamo dominate so much in the last season of the MHL, winning both the regular season and the playoffs?

– I think, due to the cohesion within the team. We were one close-knit family, fought for each other. I think this influenced the result.

– In Krasnogorsk, at the last match of the final series of Dynamo against Yaroslavl Loko (7: 5), Alexander Eremenko was present. Did he come up to you after the game, did he say something?

– You know, no. For the first time I hear from you that Alexander Eremenko was present at the match. There was no talk.

– Have you ever communicated with him? Have you ever trained?

– Well, of course. I was repeatedly called up to the first team, so I trained with him many times.

– When you learned that the contract with Eremenko was renewed for one year, did you have a thought that it would be difficult to break into the KHL next season?

– No, why? I am very happy for Alexander. Legendary goalkeeper in every sense. I think he will break more than one record with his game.

– Do you have idols among goalkeepers?

– Before, when I was little, I was a fan of Sergei Bobrovsky and Ilya Sorokin. Now there are no idols. I try to concentrate only on my own game.

– MHC Dynamo had a chance to play the semi-final with Tolpar and the first two final matches with Loko at the VTB Arena. Was the atmosphere very different there from when you played in Krasnogorsk?

– To be honest, I would not say that. Thanks to the way the fans supported us in Krasnogorsk, it felt like we were playing in a big arena. As if it was VTB Arena again. Many thanks to the fans – they drove us forward. I don’t remember for a long time that at the matches with my participation someone was so sick.

– Where did this happen before?

– At some games in the Major Hockey League (VHL), when playing away in small towns. The audience there is very sick.

– It turns out that it was not very upsetting that the fifth championship match of the final was moved from VTB Arena back to Krasnogorsk because of the Eurochallenge matches between the national teams of Russia and Belarus?

– No, well, of course, it upset me and the guys a little. Because more people would see our game this way, there would be more support. But to those who came to support us in Krasnogorsk, thank you very much. The adrenaline felt like it was in a big arena.

– Did the matches in the VHL at the senior level differ greatly from the MHL?

– Of course, the adult level is higher. There are more skilled and experienced players. And in the youth team there is no such experience. The greater the cost of a mistake, the more the guys are wrong. Again, if you take the goalkeeper’s game, then in the MHL it is much harder for him to play, because there are more unexpected situations, more mistakes are made in defense. And you have to help out the team more.

– Which of the field players of other MHL teams was the most difficult for you to play against?

– Yes, any team has a lot of players who can score. This season there are a lot of guys who are capable of scoring, giving away, and sharpening the game. Everyone from the KHL and VHL was sent to the playoffs. Therefore, the level is decent. And from each one could expect a threat.

– The coach of the goalkeepers of MHC Dynamo is Ildar Davydov, the son of the coach of the goalkeepers of the Russian national team Rashit Davydov. How does it work with him? And did you have a chance to communicate with his father?

– I didn’t have much time to communicate and work with him. As for Ildar Rashitovich, he always explains everything, shows. He did a thorough job with us. With me as well. Even though I worked with him a little, only two months. I can say that he is a highly qualified specialist and does his job very well.

– What are your chances to play in the KHL next season?

– I don’t know yet how my career will turn out, where I will be next year. Let’s see, everything will become clear soon.

– Why didn’t you have a chance to go to the last youth championship in Edmonton?

– I do not know. How it happened, it happened. On the contrary, I think for the better. I could go as the third goalkeeper and sit in quarantine for a month without playing practice. I stayed here, helped the team in the VHL, played a lot. Therefore, it seems to me only a plus that I did not go to the youth world championship.

– Two years ago, the St. Louis Blues picked you in the NHL Draft with the number 208. Chatting with the club?

– Every week I talk to them. Of course, there is a conversation with the development coach of St. Louis. I am a member of a special group in messengers, we arrange video reviews on zoom. Sometimes we send moments to each other. When I need their advice, I can send them some of my conceded goals so that they can watch and give an assessment. Sometimes the club sends me cuts from the NHL for me to watch. In general, work is underway. Thank you very much to St. Louis.

– If not for the pandemic, could you have traveled to the location of St. Louis last year or this year?

– I dont know. It’s not me who’s organizing, but the club. It’s hard to say if they would have invited me to camp (training camp – Izvestia).