Andrei Nazarov will coach the Kazakh national team for a third straight season. Photo: Miroslaw Ring
Will coach Kazakhstan and Barys Astana
The Ice Hockey Federation of Kazakhstan continues to work with Andrei Nazarov as the national team coach and Alexander Koreshkov as general manager.
Nazarov will continue to coach both the national team and Barys Astana, the club from the Kontinental Hockey League he rejoined in October.
The decision was made unanimously following the reports to the executive committee of the federation on Wednesday.
Koreshkov pointed out in his report to the committee the positive results from the junior teams. Indeed both the U20 and U18 national team finished 13th in the overall of the respective category – a placement the senior team was looking for to stay in the top division. A record 54 candidates participated in the men’s national team camp and several young players made it to the final roster as World Championship rookies to replace some veterans missing due to injury.
Nazarov underlined the great start into the tournament. “I think we came to the World Championship in good shape. This was confirmed by the opening game against Switzerland in which our anthem was played for the first time in an elite championship in ten years. Our best game was the next against Russia where the score was tied 4-4 in the third period,” he said. But Kazakhstan lost the game and all remaining ones.
The coach from Russia, who became Kazakhstan’s national team coach in the 2014/2015 season and led it to promotion the same year, believes in the potential of the team and that it can qualify for the 2018 Olympics, which will be his next task.
“In general the national team has the potential to succeed in September at the Final Olympic Qualification and earn a ticket to the Olympics in Korea,” Nazarov said.
“Hockey is very popular in Kazakhstan and the popularity increases every year. Ice rinks open every year and more children start to play. Our sport can look to the future with confidence.”
At the Final Olympic Qualification Group F in Oslo, Kazakhstan will battle for a ticket to PyeongChang 2018 against host Norway, France and Italy.
At the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Kyiv the team will play for promotion back to the top division against Hungary, Poland, Austria, Korea and host Ukraine.
Nazarov will become the first coach since Nikolai Myshyagin in 2006 to lead the Kazakh national team during three consecutive seasons.
The executive committee also appointed the other national team coaches. Sergei Starygin will continue to lead the U20 national team, Viktor Buyalski was named U18 national team coach and Alexander Maltsev will coach the women’s national team for the 12th season.
Andrei Shayanov will coach the B selection that will play at the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge in Poland as well as the men’s team at the 2017 Winter Universiade on home ice in Almaty.