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Profile: Fyodor Nabokov

Profile: Fyodor Nabokov

Fyodor Nabokov is a professional Russian hockey player currently playing in the IHA. He is signed to the Pittsburgh Rockets and is currently in the last year of a four-year contract.

Nabokov was born in the city of Magnitogorsk, but the family soon moved to Moscow to be with other relatives after the fall of the USSR. Nabokov began playing hockey when he was six. Some of his coaches described him as an “awful skater” who had poor sense of direction. He was routinely cited for poor coordination on his school PE reports, and he had trouble reading. Later, he was told he was near-sighted, meaning he needed to wear glasses.
Nabokov continued to play hockey, and he met Aleksandr Volkov early on in his career. Despite the two initially having a rivalry and Nabokov recollecting that Volkov harassed him relentlessly for wearing glasses, it was Volkov who encouraged Nabokov to become a better player. The two became close friends, and played together for Russia on national teams beginning when they were 16 and 15, respectively.
Nabokov has been labeled as a problem player. He was drafted into the IHA at the age of 23; he spent a year serving in the Russian military when he turned 18, then attended University in Moscow from the time he was 19 until he was drafted. He was preparing to enter graduate studies when he was signed to the IHA. He had reportedly been scouted by the RKHL previously, but had turned down offers from both Moscow and Magnitogorsk teams, preferring to maintain amateur status playing for university teams and national teams.
Quick Facts
Birthdate: March 11 (Age: 29)
Height: 6’0 ( 183 cm)
Weight: 196 lbs (89 kg)
Position: Right Wing
Shoots: Right
Hometown: Magnitogorsk, Russia
Teams: Pittsburgh Rockets (IHA)
He was encouraged to accept the IHA offer by Aleksandr Volkov, who was playing for the Pittsburgh Rockets. Volkov had been criticized for a drop in his play over the previous two seasons and the Rockets were looking to add more firepower to their team. Volkov contacted his old friend and convinced him to come to Pittsburgh to play. He also negotiated much of the contract with team management on Nabokov’s behalf.
Nabokov has been routinely criticized as a lazy and enigmatic player. He had made no secret of his disdain for American culture, frequently criticizing fans and management alike in his Russian-language interviews. He has been intensely criticized in the media for his uneven play, and lengthy scoring droughts are not uncommon. Despite this, Nabokov is routinely requested in trade deals, although the Rockets have yet to move his contract. Speculation is that they will not re-sign him when his current, four-year deal expires. Although many teams have said they would like to sign Nabokov, he has publicly expressed that, if the Rockets do not re-sign him, he will return to Russia, either to play in the RKHL or to pursue his graduate studies.

International Play

 

As one of Russia’s elite players, Nabokov has been named to a number of national teams, including World Juniors, World Championships, and Olympic teams. He frequently plays with Aleksandr Volkov. The two are considered a powerhouse line for Russia, although they are frequently placed on separate lines during IHA games.

Personal Life

Nabokov keeps his personal life out of the spotlight. Nabokov has been described as “enigmatic.” He rarely gives interviews for the Russian-language media and almost never interviews with the English media. Some speculate this is because his English is rather limited, although others simply see it as a sign of his disrespect for reporters and journalists. Nabokov’s English skills are relatively poor. In his Russian-language interviews, he reveals himself to be an intelligent and well-spoken person. Most Russian journalists describe him as “shy.”
Nabokov has said he is always concerned with his appearance, after having been bullied for wearing glasses when he was younger. He underwent laser eye surgery in his early twenties to have the condition corrected. He is known to be a flashy dresser, and has routinely been nominated one of the IHA’s best-dressed players.
He studied chemistry at the University of Moscow and was pursuing graduate studies when he was drafted into the IHA. He has expressed a desire to return to studying, and hopes to someday obtain his PhD.

 

Scoring
IHA

Season
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
EV
PP
SH
GW
EV
PP
SH
1
23
PIT
76
15
22
37
0
28
8
6
1
3
14
7
1
2
24
PIT
81
18
25
43
-1
22
10
6
2
4
20
4
1
3
25
PIT
82
20
20
40
-1
20
9
11
0
2
20
0
0
4
26
PIT
79
14
20
34
-2
26
11
3
0
1
19
1
0
5
27
PIT
76
16
22
38
1
24
14
1
1
6
19
2
1
6
28
PIT
82
22
30
52
-1
28
14
6
2
7
25
3
2
7
29
PIT
82
12
12
24
0
32
12
0
0
3
12
0
0

Career

558
117
151
268
-1
180
78
33
6
26
129
17
5

International Play

LG
Age
TM
GP
G
A
PTS
+/-
PIM
WJ
16
RUS
5
7
7
14
1
10
WJ
17
RUS
7
1
1
2
0
12
WC
18
RUS
7
1
12
13
1
8
WC
19
RUS
5
2
12
14
0
8
WC
20
RUS
8
2
14
16
-1
12
WC
21
RUS
8
1
14
15
-2
8
WC
22
RUS
8
3
9
12
-1
10
WC
23
RUS
5
1
6
5
0
12
WC
24
RUS
4
0
3
3
0
14
O
24
RUS
6
4
14
18
1
8
WC
25
RUS
5
2
6
8
-1
10
WC
26
RUS
5
0
11
11
0
12
WC
27
RUS
6
2
5
7
2
10
O
28
RUS
7
1
10
11
2
12
WC
29
RUS
3
0
8
8
0
8
Career
89
27
132
157
0
154

Awards and Honors

  • IHA Player of the Week (x9) 
  • IHA Player of the Month (x1) 
  • Olympic Silver (x1) 
  • Olympic Bronze (x1) 
  • World Juniors Gold (x1) 
  • World Juniors Bronze (x2) 
  • World Championships Gold (x1) 
  • World Championships Silver (x2) 
  • World Championships Bronze (x3) 
  • IHA Championship (x1)

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