The "Russian Bear"
Seattle - When he was selected with the final pick (20th overall) in the second round of the Season 66 VHL Entry Draft, not too many people were really surprised. Firstly, the picking for Seattle made sense and the pick made sense between both mutually. Morozov and his agent have previous ties with the Seattle Bears management and organization which surely made the transition easier for both parties, but the Bears also were getting a player that they knew would be loyal. As we've seen in the past with his agency, he has stayed true and loyal to the Bears organization time and time again and we don't really think this time is going to be any different. The second reasoning behind it was that the pick itself just made sense in general. The Seattle Bears were trying to fill some holes on a rebuilding squad and what better what to do it than with a player who has a good boom/bust thing going on and that you know is safe? So, Seattle took him 20th overall in the draft and now here we are. Admittedly, Morozov has fallen off the wagon pretty good as of late. His point production with the Seattle Bears wasn't that amazing this season, his activity in the locker lacked and his training was the furthest things from even good. So, from then until now - what's Morozov looked like and what can he truly become?
S64 - Saskatoon (VHLM)
This season was short and sweet. He quickly enters the league and due to his reputation, already has a name for himself. We're sure it didn't take long for most GM's to take a look at the prospects and surely didn't take the VHLM Managers long to hop onto a great opportunity in a strong, loyal player. Seattle quickly knocking, welcoming both player and agent back into play and wished the well moving forward. Through his 15 games with the team, he impressed those who watched with 5 goals, 3 assists in 8 games and proved that it couldn't take much to get him comfortable on a North American Ice surface. He followed up in the playoffs with 2 assists through 2 games and the season quickly came to an end.
"Overall, it was a good season for me. I'm excited to hit the off-season, see where I end up next season with the draft and move along the ladder. I really want to become a strong player, get the eyes of VHL managers noticing me and really prove that I can be a strong force in the higher leagues. Right now, 8 points in 15 games is a little higher than I expected. Typically, you don't get the ice time required and coming in so late, you're already quite a ways behind the rest of the group. Overall, a very happy guy and extremely excited for next season and the future."
S65 - Yukon (VHLM)
Finally, a full season to check out the Russian snipe show. The fans are excited, his new team is excited, he is excited. I think a lot of people were really excited to see what he was made of and surely this season, he did not disappoint. Man, he really took the trash out this year and not at all did he fuck the dog on the ice. He managed to snipe away 44 goals on the year, add 41 apples as they call em, for 85 points in the 72 games played. This os basically the exact style of play and type of production we were going to see from this guy and damn are we happy to see it. It's also nice to see a player come in with expectations already on him and then they exceed them. If Morozov manages to keep this up, he has a healthy, long and successful career ahead of him where ever he actually ends up going.
"This season was a lot of fun. Everything was clicking and we were having a really fun season in Yukon. One thing I must say is Russia is cold, but fuck man, Yukon is something different. One minute you're outside having a smoke with a fire lit beside you or you'll freeze your jewels off, and the next you know there's a polar running through the yard chasing a reindeer. It's sure cold and different up here. Over in Russia we only have vodka. Maybe now that I'm not playing with a buzz each night, shits been working out better. But yeah, extremely fun season. Almost getting to 50 was a real thrill and it definitely fuelled the fire for moving forward. 44 was a fun amount to reach but my goal is to one day hit 50 (and of course win a cup). 85 points to end the year, once again I'm a happy man."
S66 - Seattle (VHL)
We all knew that the Seattle Bears weren't going to be anything great this year and it was pretty evident with the team sales in the previous off-season that a rebuild was in order. Management also made it very clear that their mission was a lotto pick and reminded fans throughout the season and such that playoffs were not an option for the season and that brighter days are surely ahead of them. Seattle didn't do too hot on the season, though I believe I can safely say that they maybe exceeded what a lot of people thought they were going to be. Their record wasn't terrible, they did see some solid play from a good group of their players and while they were a significantly lesser of a team than majority of the league (basically everyone), they still managed to get some W's and not have a 10/10 shit record, only 9.9 which hey. For Morozov, it was basically the same for him. He had 15 goals on the season and 21 assists for 36 points. While this number isn't really terrible for a rookie player and shouldn't dictate what we should expect from him, it's not what anyone was hoping for. I also do believe that almost everyone was expecting a little more from him. Scouts had him dubbed to start the season around the 45-55 point range but by looking at the finalized stats, that didn't happen. Not even close. Morozov expressed a lot of disappointment, not by words - though somewhat, but more so by his tone. You could tell it wasn't the season he expected or wanted.
"Of course I wanted to be a better. I know it's tough coming over here and playing the game, but I've proven in the VHLM that I am able to do it successfully at that level. This largely brought forward expectations for myself and the fans that I obviously didn't reach this season. Am I being tough on my self? There's a good chance I am. I'm young, I'm going to go through tough shit but as a player, you have to get over it and move on. 36 points isn't terrible. Not the start I was looking for but all I can do is move on from it, learn and improve and go from there. I think next season is going to be a bit different of a story. Seattle has some pretty sold pieces heading into the draft and rumour in the LR is they may have a deal lined up and in place already to bolster some other areas. I'm planning to put my head down, work my ass off and get back to where I, the fans and my team and managers expect me to be."
Morozov is claiming that bigger and better is ahead for him and the Seattle Bears. If we were going to do our scouting magic and do some things, you can expect for him to get on track a little bit better, hit the gym a little more and start playing a bit better for the Seattle Bears. We aren't genies and surely don't live in a lamp or bottle, but the feeling with this one is good. If we had to fire a prediction, the Bears potentially could make playoffs next year as sleepers. They could magically click and pull it off. For Morozov, I think we can expect him to hit what we thought he was going to this season, but maybe with a higher floor. 45 might be a little lower and you could probably bump it up to a minimal of 50 and 22 goals. If the Bears manage to pick up some other pieces, he could even hit some nicer totals. We're going to throw his ceiling for the upcoming season at 75 points. Players have surprised us before and Morozov is a good candidate for pleasant surprises.
Until then, Morozov is going to head back to Russia, train in the freezing cold temperatures and box against Bear to increase his stamina. He plans to drink 3 green teas a day and live off of Steak, fruit, vegetables and fibre one bars. This is going to be the key to his success and what dubs him the Russian Bear.
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