Sergei Shirokov has no plans to abandon his dream.
There are sure to be lucrative offers for the skilled forward to return to Russia and play in the Kontinental Hockey League, but Shirokov is still planning on being in North America next fall.
“Next year I’ll go back to training camp in Vancouver and then we’ll see what we’re doing,” said Shirokov, a 24-year-old from Moscow. “If they send me back down, I’ll go to Winnipeg to play and work hard. I want to play in the NHL.”
There were plenty of things for Shirokov to experience and adjust to as he played his first season in North America.
“It’s a very good season, lots of new things for me,” said Shirokov, a sixth-round pick (163rd overall) of the Canucks in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. “Lots of emotions. New country, new language. I like (Canada), it’s very nice.”
Shirokov tied for the team lead in goals (22) and was second in points (45) to Marco Rosa (55) while appearing in 76 games with the Moose.
“Not bad, it was OK for the first year,” said Shirokov, when asked to assess his own play. “I want to score more goals. I need more shots.”