A STORY OF MY

PASSION FOR
THE GAME

HABITS CHANGE

INTO
CHARACTER

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“People who give more than take in their lives should be aware that their efforts are needed and appreciated.”

 

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This is an honest story about my life. I am a professional ice hockey player from Russia and have experienced many interesting situations in my life including great victories and painful failures. It has been a great ride so far, but much more is yet to come.

this is me

There are things that define me. My story, my hockey career and my ego. Get to know me better!

MY STORY

We all have a story to tell. A story that defines us. Who we are and where do we come from. This is mine.

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ICE HOCKEY

Hockey is my passion and profession. I am blessed that I can do what I love for living. See my journey here.

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MY APPROACH

As a professional athlete you represent the whole team and organisation. I take pride in everything what I do.

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MY STORY

My name is Nikolai Belov. I am 32 years old and this is a story of my life as a professional ice hockey player so far. It all started when I was around 3 years old, when my dad took me to the ice hockey rink for the first time.

 

While I don’t remember those early moments, I am forever grateful to him as from that moment on, ice hockey has been my life. Presently, ice hockey is my full time job and teammates are my second family. Honestly, ice hockey is almost like my second religion.

As a kid I loved all kinds of sports. Ice hockey was not always the obvious choice, because when you are young you get excited about everything. As a teenager it was not always easy to live a disciplined life and keep the aim to become a professional player. It was only when I turned 18, I had an epiphany and realised I was meant to be a hockey player. I still remember those first magical moments at the Ledovij Dvorets (stadium in Moscow), where nothing else matters except the game and the players. It is almost like the rest of the world around you just fades away.

 

I was 18 years old when I signed my first professional contract. From that moment on, hockey has been my job. I was on top of the world! However, I also realized that being a professional player wasn’t my only goal in life. Deep inside, I always wanted to help people and make their lives happier.

 

Early stages of my professional career passed very quickly leaving various feelings and experiences. One of the brightest and the most positive moments for me was the victory of the KHL Gagarin Cup with SKA ST. Petersburg team. All guys on the team, including me, fought incredibly hard for this victory. We had tremendous support from the whole city of St. Petersburg. Winning felt great, but most importantly it was for our fans. The whole city felt elevated and united by mutual feeling of joy and happiness. It was an amazing feeling which lasted for a very long time.

 

While it is easy to talk about victories and describe positive emotions of happiness, it is painful to deal with negative moments, defeats and failures. For me, however, such moments are also important as they helped me to grow and become a better player and a better person.

 

During my dark moments when I played poorly there have been times in my career when people told me “this is the end for you”, “stop”, “quit”. I was facing the tough reality. I was having doubts in my mind that what if these people were right? Should I stop playing and do something else instead? 

 

However, I decided not to give up and to show to everybody what I can do. I managed to turn all that negativity into strength to push myself even harder. That newly found confidence allowed me to continue to do what I love. I am a fighter and haters can’t bring me down. At the end of the day, I am stronger than any outside force and will keep going no matter what.

 

Several years went by and then I got the opportunity of my life to try my skills in the best ice hockey league of the world, NHL. I was earlier drafted by the Florida Panthers and was now invited for a tryout camp. It felt unreal. I always had a dream to play in the NHL.

 

I very much believed that I would make the team. Unfortunately, I wasn’t selected.  I had to admit to myself that perhaps I was not ready for that level of ice hockey yet. It wasn’t easy to accept, but I just had to live with it.

 

You always hear famous people talk about their success and victories. It is rarer to hear about failures and losses. I believe that failures play a big part in our development as athletes and people. Failures make us stronger and we need to learn from them.

 

After my failed try in the NHL, I tried to come to terms that perhaps there is a life without ice hockey. Perhaps there is something else that is as beautiful and engaging for me. However, I couldn’t see it. After a short break I realized once again that I was meant to be an ice hockey player. The huge amount of work and sacrifices made by my parents and my coaches can’t be lost. I had to show that I can come back and catch a second wind on my career. And here I am, in Sweden. I am back in the game more excited than ever to show what I can do on the ice!

 

ICE HOCKEY TIMELINE
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  • 2019

    Almtuna IS

    Almtuna IS

    October 2, 2019
    Almtuna IS
    Years played: 2019 –  Regular total: 7 Games / 1 goals + 1 assists = 2 points / PIM: 4 Min Playoffs total: –
  • 2017

    Traktor Chelyabinsk

    Traktor Chelyabinsk

    October 2, 2017
    Traktor Chelyabinsk
    Years played: 2016 – 2017 Regular total: 59 Games / 8 goals + 7 assists = 15 points / PIM: 31 Min Playoffs total: 3 Games / 0 goals + 1 assists = 1 point / PIM: 2 Min
  • 2016

    Ak Bars Kazan

    Ak Bars Kazan

    October 2, 2016
    Ak Bars Kazan
    Years played: 2016 Regular total: 39 Games / 1 goals + 3 assists = 4 points / PIM: 6 Min Playoffs total: 7 Games / 0 goals + 1 assists = 1 point / PIM: 2 Min
  • 2015

    SKA ST. Petersburg

    SKA ST. Petersburg

    January 1, 2015
    SKA ST. Petersburg
    Years played: 2015 – 2016 Regular total: 24 Games / 0 goals + 2 assists = 2 points / PIM: 31 Min Playoffs total: 17 Games / 0 goals + 3 assists = 3 point / PIM: 0 Min
  • 2008

    Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk

    Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk

    January 1, 2008
    Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
    Years played: 2008 – 2015 Regular total: 267 Games / 21 goals + 41 assists = 62 points / PIM: 211 Min Playoffs total: 24 Games / 0 goals + 1 assists = 1 point / PIM: 18 Min
FACTS ABOUT ME

Favorite Russian food? Good old boiled Pelmeni.

Greatest Ice Hockey memory? The victory in a KHL Gagarin Cup with SKA St. Petersburg in 2015 -2016.

my approach

STYLE

Style for me is more than just my clothes. It is more like a philosophy. I pay attention how I present myself. Details matter in everything I do.

HOBBY

Collecting baseball caps is my fun hobby. I like to collect caps of the teams we play against. Nothing serious. Just a little souvenir to take home.

CHARITY

I believe that those who have, should share with the less fortunate. Even something that feels like a small thing can be important for someone.

special teammate

Who exactly is an ice hockey agent? What sort of personality is typical for an agent and what drives him or her forward?

 

My name is Polina Soboleva and I believe that anyone who decided to become an agent, should find an answer to these questions. Of course, we all have different approach. Personally, I did ask these questions from myself when I decided to become one. First and the only true answer that came to my mind immediately was the unlimited desire to help people in need. And to find answers and solutions in the ruthless and challenging world of professional sports.

 

I was sure that I could find the right answer in any situation or solution to any problem. I felt as if it was my instincts together with my strong internal drive to work hard and to never give up that would eventually make me successful.  

 

And it did.

 

I was amused by those so called “big bosses” of the hockey world who claimed that agent´s profession is all about business and money. It is also naive to believe that no client will ever leave them because of their name or status. Believe me, clients will come and go as that is how the professional world of sports works.

 

You have to prepare yourself for any situation and just do your job as an agent. Also, sometimes, you have to expect getting nothing in return. At least in the beginning of your career when you are still establishing yourself. Surely, profits are still crucial in any business. Money helps you to develop your business further and grow, but that should not be the sole goal. Especially in the field where you work with people´s lives. Otherwise failure could follow.

 

I did not seek athletes to my agency. They all appeared in my life by coincidence or fate. I did however, approach one client whose story I heard from friend of mine. His story was so unique, so I immediately contacted him. First thing I said to him was, I want to and I will help you.

 

I knew the names of all the agents who previously worked with him. I met with each one of them and I asked them the same question. Why don´t you want to help him now? Their answers were identical: “He will not make us any money”.

 

Such answer convinced me even further that I am where I need to be. As a result, this is how my story with Nikolai Belov began. 

 

I knew that he had little to none chances to make a successful come back in Russia. Therefore, I calculated every little detail in our journey and together we started building a new base for a successful future. At the moment, we are taking little steps and to be honest, I am not sure whether we will walk this journey all the way to the end together or not. However, I am not afraid of taking on this challenge, I know why I am doing it!

 

Polina Soboleva – Director, SPG Wood Company

 

                @spgwood             @spgwood

 

Nikolai Belov

Hockey player & philanthropist. Almtuna Ice Hockey photo credits to Johnny Andersson.

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