OGDEN, UT. – The Ogden Mustangs, proud members of the United States Premier Hockey League, are excited to announce the signing of Andrey Shmakov for the 2021-22 season.
Shmakov (Moscow, RUS) was a major addition to the Mustangs in 2020-21 and provided stability for the Ogden attack. A gifted skater with great hands, Shmakov saw his game alter from an offensive star to a solid two-way forward. His game flourished as the season pressed on and was relied upon heavily by his team. "I am very excited to come back. Ogden feels like I am coming back home and we had a great group of guys last season that became a family to me. I know what the coaching staff is expecting from me. They know how to build a championship-caliber team and I believe in them. And of course, the fans! It is always a pleasure to play in our building with their huge support!"
The 6-0, 180 lbs Russian force finished the season with 14 goals and 13 assists while only missing one game towards the end of February. One of his biggest moments came on the road in late-November when he pulled off a [Pavel] Datsyuk-like shootout move to send his team home with a huge comeback victory.
"I think in my last junior season I will need to take things much more seriously and that begins in the offseason. I've had a good rest with my family and I'm already back on the ice to practice."
Shmakov's signing for Head Coach Kenny Orlando adds to the flurry of moves as of late and is a dynamic piece to the puzzle for next years squad.
"Getting Andrey back is major addition for our offensive group. He continued to show improvement and versatility in his game all last season. It was an adjustment for him playing in different systems and in a new league. In turn, he's now much more well-rounded and will see more success in the O-Zone because of it."
With four signings in five days, Shmakov understands the value in preparation and has some unfinished business for himself and the Mustangs next season.
"Last year was very unique due to the pandemic. I'm happy that I improved the defensive side of my game a lot last year. In this upcoming season, I'll try to bring much more offense and remain solid on both sides of the puck. The season didn't end the way we wanted, but we'll work on all of our mistakes and clean up the little details that we missed. I believe that we can achieve our team goal and that's winning a championship."
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