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Andrei Svechnikov: ‘I have to play really well.’

The Hurricanes’ star forward joined the media on a Zoom call Wednesday to discuss his improvement, winning the Steve Chiasson Award, fishing with Dougie Hamilton and more.

NHL: JUL 18 Hurricanes Training Camp Photo by John McCreary/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s no secret Andrei Svechikov has grown by leaps and bounds in just two seasons in the NHL. After a solid rookie year, Svechnikov blossomed into a true first-line player as a sophomore, putting up 24 goals and 61 points in 68 games this season.

And Svechnikov has definitely earned his teammates’ respect. Wednesday, Svechnikov was announced as the Hurricanes’ 2019-20 Steve Chaisson Award winner, presented annually to a player voted by his teammates as “the Hurricanes player that best exemplifies determination and dedication while proving to be an inspiration to his teammates through his performance and approach to the game.”

Svechnikov spoke with the media via Zoom Wednesday to discuss his award and what lies ahead in the 2020 postseason.

On being voted the Steve Chiasson Award Winner: I just want to thank my teammates who voted for that. I don’t think I could do that without my teammates. That’s an honor.

On what he expects from the playoffs having been through it: Obviously, everyone knows it’s going to be hard, especially this time. But we’re going to try our best and, especially for me, I have to play really well, just be the best on the ice, be the best every shift and try to help my team win games.

On catching a shark while fishing with Dougie Hamilton: It was a couple months ago when we went fishing at Big Rock. We went at 6 a.m. At 7 a.m., the first fish I caught was a shark. It was super exciting to catch that fish. It was pretty decent-sized, but it was mostly fun when you put the shark in the boat and it started jumping for 10 minutes, and then you put it back in the water. So it was a lot of fun to see that. I didn’t [pick it up and put it back in]. We had guys there that were doing that. If I did that, the shark would probably bite my legs.

On what he learned last season that he applied this season to improve: I just think I learned lots of things. How you have to prepare before games, that’s the most important thing. When are you going to bed, how are you getting food and what are you going to get? Especially in the game, I learned a lot about how to play. The coaches taught me a lot. I learned a lot for all situations, five on five, power play, penalty kill. Last year, I was struggling on the half wall to get the puck out. This year, I don’t think I had a lot of problems with that.

On having practices at full strength: Everyone’s going to be fresh. We’re all in the same situation. So it’s very exciting. We don’t want to give up the Stanley Cup, hopefully we’re going to win. That’s our goal and so we’re looking forward to doing this.

On the possibility of playing in the Olympics: I would be honored to play for my country. It’s always been my dream to be in the Olympic Games. But I have to work hard for that, and I’ve never played for my first national team. So hopefully I’m going to make the team at some point.