Ilya was born and raised in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and was destined to grow up to be a hockey player.
From as early as he can remember, hockey has always been an important factor in the Gatiyatulin household. Ilya’s father, Anvar, played professionally in Russia from 1994-2005, and then moved on to coaching, where he would eventually become the Head Coach of Traktor Chelyabinsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, the top professional league in Russia.While growing up, Ilya would often watch his father play hockey which fueled his passion for the game. Ilya cites his father as his biggest influence in his hockey career, and a desire to follow in his footsteps and go as far as he can with the game.Ilya first came to CIHA at the end of the 2015-2016 season after his campaign in Russia had finished. He was impressed with what he experienced but was unable to return for the 2016-2017 season due to prior commitments at home. He would however return again for a late stint in February of 2016. This season, Ilya has been with Midget Green from the beginning, and believes that this is his best opportunity to garner attention and make the jump to the next level.Standing at 6’2 and 218 pounds, Ilya can be an imposing figure on the ice and must use that to his advantage while defending. Alain Raymond, Head Coach of Midget Green makes note of this and also mentions Ilya must improve his foot speed to excel at the next level. Coach Al praised Ilya for his hockey sense and understanding of the game, as well as his “pro” shot.Ilya’s ultimate goal is to play in the NHL and he is willing to take any path necessary to get there. He is keeping his options open, hoping to land with a Junior club in Canada or the United States to further his development.During the offseason in Russia, Ilya enjoys playing other sports but is fond of Mixed Martial Arts. He often trains at his local gym, which helps with his quickness and footwork and translates well to the ice. CIHA’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Alex Vaduva, calls Ilya one the hardest workers in the gym.Armed with a strong work ethic and good genes, Ilya is looking to make a name for himself and follow in his father’s footsteps. 

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