Moscow Method

Know Your Bobcat – Stanislav Dzakhov

Throughout the months of August and September, will be taking a one-by-one look at the players on the Bobcats’ Training Camp Roster. Today’s installment features veteran forward Stanislav Dzakhov.

Name: Stanslav Dzakhov

Position: Forward

Hometown: Moscow, Russia

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 200 lbs.

2012-13 Team: Bismarck Bobcats

2012-13 Stats: 29 GP, 10 G, 10 A, 20 PTS, +16, 18 PIM, PPG, 3 GWG

2012-13 Awards/Distinctions: 2013 Robertson Cup All-Tournament Forward

Favorite Book: Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo

Favorite Food: “Anything my mom, Fatima, cooks!”

Highlight of 2012-13: “Taking the trip down to Frisco with my teammates and playing in the National Tournament with a great group of guys.”

Welcome to the Party

Though he was an eighth round pick for the Bismarck Bobcats in the 2012 NAHL Entry Draft, Stanislav Dzakhov did not don the black and gold until the tail end of 2012, having started the season across the state with the Fargo Force.

A mid-December trade with the Force brought Dzakhov across I-94 and into the fold with the Cats. Being a newcomer to a team that had been playing together for three months was a challenge for the Russian forward, though having a familiar face in the locker room helped ease the transition.

“I had started the season with Aaron Nelson in Fargo, so having him around was very helpful,” explained Dzakhov, who played his first contest with the Bobcats December 22 at Coulee Region. “You have guys who have been teammates for a few months and they all met each other a long time ago. It can be tough to be a new guy in a situation like that but knowing ‘Nelly’ made everything go smoothly.”

It didn’t take Dzakhov long to acclimate to his new digs: after going scoreless in his first game at the Omni Center, he racked up two goals and two assists in a home series against the Chill the next weekend.

“We knew when we drafted Stan that he had the talent to be an immediate impact player,” noted Bobcats head coach and general manager Layne Sedevie, “but he jumped in and started putting up points even faster than anyone expected.

“And even though it took him until his second game to get a point, he probably could’ve had a hat trick that first game if the bounces had gone his way.”

As fate would have it, Dzakhov would have the chance to pay forward Nelson’s help in acclimating when the Bobcats traded for another Force forward in Matt Pohlkamp at the February roster deadline.

“Matt was in the same spot I was when I joined the team, so it was cool to be able to help him fit in with the guys when he got here,” recalled Dzakhov.

Like his Russian friend, Pohlkamp got rolling immediately: tallying two goals and an assist in his first three games en route to a total of eight goals and six assists in 18 games on a line with Dzakhov and Bobcats assistant captain Filip Starzynski.

The chemistry that developed along that line took off in the postseason: Pohlkamp was second on the team in playoff scoring with three goals and six assists while Dzakhov racked up six goals and two assists—including three goals at the Robertson Cup, which earned him All-Tournament Team honors.

Offseason Plans

Since the Bobcats’ season ended on tiebreakers at the 2013 Robertson Cup in Frisco, Tex., all of the Cats’ returners—Dzakhov included—have been training hard for another shot at the oldest junior hockey trophy in the United States.

“Now that we can look back at the National Tournament without all the frustration and emotion, we can use it to prepare for this new season,” illustrated Dzakhov. “We know that we have to train as hard as we can so that we can be the best prepared team this year. We don’t want to be in that position ever again.”

To that end, Dzakhov attended the Minnesota Hockey Camp over the summer in Brainerd, Minn.—coincidentally, Pohlkamp’s hometown.

Minnesota Hockey Camp is a well-known annual camp, where Dzakhov got to work and play with NHL’ers like T.J. Oshie and Ryan McDonagh and 2013 Hobey Baker Award winner Drew LeBlanc.

“Camp in Brainerd has been unreal,” hailed Dzakhov. “I’ve gotten to work with some really great players and really improve my strength and puck control. I even dropped about seven pounds to make myself lighter and faster.”

His time in Minnesota yielded results off the ice, as well.

“Not only that, but I’ve gotten some great tips on my diet and workouts that I can take with me and make sure that I’m as well-prepared as possible and stay ahead of the competition.”

The Bobcat staff is pleased with Dzakhov’s offseason progress.

“We’re really impressed by the way Stan went out and took the initiative to better himself over the summer,” credited Sedevie. “One thing we ask of every player is that he is committed to our program and Stan went above and beyond in terms of offseason preparation.”

Russian Idol

Growing up playing hockey in Russia, Stanislav Dzakhov had plenty of great role models to choose from, but landed on one of the iconic Russian skaters of the 1990’s.

“When I was younger, the guy I looked up to was Pavel Bure,” intoned Dzakhov, referring to the long-time Vancouver Canuck.

But as times changed, the 1993-born forward started following the career arc of a different Russian superstar: Alex Ovechkin.

“I had season tickets to Dynamo Moscow,” reminisced Dzakhov, “and during the 2004-05 lockout, they had a team with Ovechkin and Pavel Datsyuk, which was really inspiring to watch as a hockey player.”

While Dzakhov certainly takes cues from Ovechkin, he’s hardly the only Russian star that influences his game.

“Ovi’s got the shot and the physical game I want to have, but I also want to have hands like Datsyuk and speed like Bure,” rattled off Dzakhov. “I don’t want people to look at me and say ‘Ovi’ or ‘Datsyuk.’ I want them to look at me and say ‘Stan.’”

Stay tuned to over the next month-plus as we take you in-depth with every player on the Training Camp Roster in preparation for the 2013-14 season. Next week, we will feature Levi Blom, Matt Anders, Evan Giesler, Chris Diver, Tyler Dunagan, Kenny Curtis and Huba Sekesi.