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June 26, 2009

Dmitry Kulikov


DMITRY KULIKOV: Just unbelievable feeling, something I've been dreaming for the past five years, and now it's happened, just a dream come true. It's just a great feeling.

Q. Inaudible.
DMITRY KULIKOV: No, actually, I don't even think about it. And I didn't think about it.

Q. How much interest do you feel like the Panthers had in you?
DMITRY KULIKOV: They have been pretty interested in for the past two months. I had interviews with them, and last time I meet them here in Montréal, so after this meeting, everything probably has been pretty clear, and I hope before the draft that the Panthers will draft me.

Q. Why is that?
DMITRY KULIKOV: Well, we have talked with them in the meetings and they have been pretty interested in me. I think that was the point. I just didn't know if I would have stayed until 14th pick or they wouldn't move up. So now I'm really happy and enjoying the time.

Q. Do you expect to play in the NHL next year?
DMITRY KULIKOV: Well, actually that's my goal to play in the NHL next year. We'll see what's going on. I know it's a lot of hard work and you know, just through this training camps and rookie camps and we'll see what is going on.

Q. Where did you play last year?
DMITRY KULIKOV: Germanville, and before I've been playing in -- inaudible.

Q. What was the reason for coming here? Improve your game?
DMITRY KULIKOV: Improve my game, learn a new style of game, learn a new routine, learn everything new about a new country, new style of play, and make the like closest step to the NHL.

Q. Did you feel like learning in the North America game, better to come here then?
DMITRY KULIKOV: That's what I thought before I came over here. Me and my agent was talking about that last winter, and we decided that it would be better for me to come over here and you know, play here and all of the scouts can watch me like more attention to me.

Q. How would you describe your style of play?
DMITRY KULIKOV: I'm kind of an offensive defenseman who never for gets that he has a responsibility in his own zone. For me, defense first and then if I have a chance or opportunity to join offensive rushes, I can do it easily.
Plus I feel like a quarterback on the power play. I think I have a pretty heavy shot.

Q. The Panthers have a lot of defensive prospects, so there's definitely going to be competition over the years. Does that excite you?
DMITRY KULIKOV: Between all defensemen?

Q. With the Panthers.
DMITRY KULIKOV: You know, I think to make the NHL team, you have to be better than someone else on the team, and, well, that's my goal and my point to be better than someone to make the NHL team this year.

End of FastScripts

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