Gleb Babintsev (left) defends a member of Team Finland at the 2016 Youth Olympics
Photo: Pietro Montanarella/IOC Young Reporters
General Manager Mike Oke was hoping for two things in this year’s edition of the CHL Import Draft – a defenceman, and one that would be able to come to Peterborough to play. Gleb Babintsev fit the bill, and was selected 37th overall by the Petes.
Babintsev, 17, played the 2016-17 season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Russia U17 league. He led his team’s defence corps in points, recording 10 goals, 18 assists, 28 points, and 14 penalty minutes in 32 games. His two-way game and offensive flair landed him a spot on bronze medal-winning Team Russia for the 2016 Youth Olympics in Lillehammer. The 6’0″, 203lbs defenceman also earned an invite to Team Russia’s selection camp for the upcoming U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup Tournament.
Although he speaks some English, we had fellow Russian and soon-to-be Petes sophomore Semyon Der-Arguchintsev translate our first conversation with Gleb shortly after being selected in the Import Draft.
Petes: What do you know about the Canadian Hockey League, OHL and the Petes?
Gleb: “I know that the CHL is a very good league, with the best junior players. The Petes have had a lot of players get drafted to the NHL. I’m very excited to play in the OHL against really good hockey players.”
Petes: Have you been to Canada before? What part of coming to Canada excites you the most?
Gleb: “I haven’t been to Canada before, but am very excited to go. I’m happy that I’ll get to improve my English. It will be an interesting experience being in a new country but it will be fun.”
Petes: You were the highest-scoring defenceman on your team; would you describe yourself as a more offensive defenceman, or a stay-at-home guy? What is the best part of your game?
Gleb: “I think that I’m very good defensively, but I really like to join the rush, too. It’s important to play defense first, but I’m offensive as well.”
Petes: What NHL player do you most model your game after?
Gleb: “I think I play a mix of (Russian) Nikita Zaitsev of the Maple Leafs and Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks.”
Petes: What was it like playing for a well-known club like Metallurg Magnitogorsk?
Gleb: “It was great. The city is very nice. I got a lot of ice time with them, so it was really good for my development.”
Petes: Describe your experience playing for Team Russia in the Youth Olympics Games in 2016.
Gleb: “It was an experience I won’t forget. The focus was on hockey, but I got to take in many aspects of the Games. It was good to play with the best youth in the world.”
Petes: And, a standard hockey question: what’s your favourite pre-game meal?
Gleb: “Definitely chicken and pasta before every game.”
Fans will have the chance to get to know Gleb even better once he arrives for training camp in late August. Until then, stay up to date with the Petes by downloading the Peterborough Petes Mobile App available for iPhone or Android devices. Enter rewards code WelcomeGleb in the My Rewards section of the app to learn loyalty reward points.