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 second in a three-part series that will highlight how each of these potential NHL prospects is feeling heading into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Similar to his Russian counterpart Pavel Gogolev, Semyon Der-Arguchintsev departed Moscow, Russia at the age of 14 in search of the best opportunity to encourage his flourishing hockey career. Said journey to Canada landed him at CIH Academy in Rockland, just East of the nation’s capital, where he was teammates with Gogolev for two seasons. In his minor midget campaign, in a league made up primarily of opponents a year his senior, Semyon – known around the PMC as SDA, Sem or Sammy – finished first in assists (49) and points (70) and was named the HEO Midget AAA’s top rookie.
While home in Moscow for the off-season, anxiously awaiting draft day in Dallas, Sammy answered some questions about what the process has been like so far, and how he’s feeling as the 2018 NHL Entry Draft nears.
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?
SDA: Not really, just working hard, getting ready for the season, and trying to get better as a hockey player. Maybe the only difference is working a little bit harder in the gym.
You’re good friends with Toronto Maple Leaf Nikita Zaitsev, and you have some teammates that have been through the draft process as well. Have any of them given you advice on what the draft process is like and what you can expect that day?
SDA: They’ve told me not to worry about it. They’ve said it’s an exciting day, and on draft day, you can’t really do anything about it, so just enjoy the moment.
What is the toughest or strangest question you’ve been asked by NHL teams leading into the draft?
SDA: Probably the hardest question I’ve had is who should we draft, me or Pavel? No strange questions, though.
Which of your skills or characteristics do you think is your most valuable asset?
SDA: Probably my skill level and hockey IQ are the biggest things for me. Off the ice, I’m trying to be a good teammate and work hard.
Is there an area of your game you need to work on to elevate your game?
SDA: Yeah, I have to work on my shot, still keep working on my skating, and work on getting stronger overall.
You have an older brother who has played some professional games in North America in the ECHL, and is now playing professionally in Russia. Has he been able to give you any advice about what it will take to play pro hockey?
SDA: He always tells me that I have to use every chance to get better, and that it is important to be a good person and teammate.
Who are you attending the draft with?
SDA: My house parent when I went to CIH Academy, Francis Wathier, who is a coach in the QMJHL will be there, as well as my agent.
Do you plan on getting out in Dallas to see some of the city?
SDA: I’ll try to see as much of the city as I can while I’m there.
Follow Semyon, Pavel 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.