Nearly three months to the day of their last game of the 2017-18 season, a trio of Petes are preparing for what could be one of the most monumental days of their young lives. Forward Pavel Gogolev, center Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, and defenceman Declan Chisholm are just a few sleepless nights away from arriving in Dallas, Texas in hopes of hearing their names called from the stage at American Airlines Center on June 22-23.
The following is the first in a three-part series that will highlight how each of these potential NHL prospects is feeling heading into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
In August, 2013 left winger Pavel Gogolev moved to Canada from his native Moscow, Russia in pursuit of his hockey dreams. Flash forward five years later, and it’s the summer following his sophomore OHL season in which he posted 30 goals, 17 assists, and 47 points in 66 games and was named the team’s most improved player.
Pavel is back in Peterborough for the off-season, living with his billet family and working out at the team’s training facility as he awaits the next milestone in his young hockey career.
Before heading to Dallas via Ottawa later this week, Pavel fielded some questions about what the process has been like so far, and how he’s feeling as draft weekend approaches.
This summer is arguably the most important of your life to this point. Have you done anything differently this off-season than in years prior in preparation for the draft?
PG: I don’t know that it’s the most important summer of my life, because I think every summer is important, but I’m just trying to get stronger and build some muscle. I’ve been watching some NHL players train, how they do things, so I’m just trying to work hard and do what they do. I’m trying to talk to everyone around me who has played in the NHL and everyone who knows how to help me get stronger and everything, for example [Petes Strength and Condition Coach Josh Gillam] and all the staff at Hybrid. So just trying to work hard and prepare myself.
What advice have you been given by teammates or friends that have gone through the draft process?
PG: [Petes center Zach Gallant] has said just go there and enjoy everything, and reminded me that I can’t control what happens.
What is the toughest or strangest question you’ve been asked by NHL teams in your interviews with them so far?
PG: I’d say ‘what’s your favourite food?’ because I can’t really pick one. I just think it was important to be honest when I answered their questions.
Which of your skills or characteristics do you think is your most valuable asset?
PG: I was asked that by most of the teams I’ve talked to. I think they probably can see that I’m more of a goal scorer and play maker. Last season, when I passed the puck I didn’t really have luck getting assists. I think I’m a good player on and off the ice, I’m just trying to help the team, trying to help everyone around me. I’m always trying to work hard, I know I always leave everything out there.
What area of your game do you think you need to work on to elevate your game?
PG: I’d say the biggest thing for next season for me is working on my defensive game. My goal for next season is to help the team make the playoffs. For that you have to have a plus [plus/minus rating], for sure, so that’s what I want to do, have a plus on my statistics. I would say win battles, and when we break out with the puck, don’t make mistakes, make the smart plays.
You returned home to Russia for just 3 weeks at the end of the season before returning to Peterborough for the summer. What is it about Peterborough that keeps you around here for the off-season?
PG: I was home for only 24 days. It was fast. I didn’t get to see my family a lot but, I know how important this season is and the seasons coming up in two and three years, so I came back to train. I have everyone here around me – my billets, a couple friends in Peterborough, and my girlfriend and her family in Ottawa, as well as my agent. I’m enjoying the time here with friends while I get ready for the draft and the season.
Who is attending the draft with you?
PG: My girlfriend and her dad, as well as my agent. Of course, my family wants to be there, but it’s hard for them to come all the way from Russia. I’ll try to make the best out of my draft day and take lots of pictures to send back to my family.
Do you plan on getting out in Dallas to see some of the city?
PG: It depends on my schedule when I get there, but if I have time, I’ll try to see the city with my girlfriend and her dad. I know I’ll enjoy my time there either way.
Follow Pavel, Semyon and Declan throughout the 2018 NHL Entry Draft in Dallas by downloading the official Petes App, and by following the Petes on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and online.