Petersson’s revival in Lokomotiv
Andre Petersson spent several years in Sweden and in the AHL before he made a call to move to the KHL and play for HC Sochi back in 2014. He later moved on after three seasons and joined Avangard Omsk, Barys Nur-Sultan and then Dynamo Moscow prior to this campaign.
He later made a move to join Lokomotiv, reuniting with his former Barys head coach Andrei Skabelka. The 109th overall pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft found more success in Russian hockey and proved himself to be a strong player in the game.
Petersson’s lineup with Dynamo led to his rise to prominence in the game. The promising forward who had silver and bronze medals for international games came up with a big season with his club. He was part of the troika with Vadim Shipachyov and league MVP Dmitrij Jaskin, and that line was considered as the best in the league last season.
‘We obviously had Shipachyov, who's an excellent player. I haven't really played with anyone like that before—with that kind of skill’, Petersson said of their line. ‘Watching him in practice every day was something else. The stuff he does, no one else can do really. And then Jaskin came in and was really good too, a really strong player with a lot of skill who was able to protect the puck’.
That chemistry lifted them in the playoffs as well, and they could have gone deeper in the Gagarin Cup if it wasn’t cancelled. They were three different players but blended well with each other. Petersson knew that the success of the team relied upon their production.
It also meant that his departure from the team was harder. They couldn’t come up with an early agreement, so that ended his time with the team.
‘We were struggling a little bit in the beginning of the season because we were lost, but once we got into playing together and understanding each other, we made it work’, Petersson said of his previous run with Dynamo. ‘That goes for all of the lines we had. Since it was more free, every line had to decide for themselves and play off of each other’.
Petersson found a new home with Lokomotiv, and that meant that they could play on a higher level this season. Skabelka’s hiring proved to be the main reason for his move, as he was really familiar with the coach’s system.
Petersson said that the coach was pretty strict, but playing strong defence has always been the team’s pride in the game. It just meant that there were no problems in getting things going for them. After all, Petersson is at the right time of his bright career.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores