As the OHL prepares for the 2020-21 season, the Petes are showcasing how our players are handling the pandemic and preparing for their on-ice return. This instalment of Saturday Showcase features defenceman, Artem Guryev.
Guryev was selected in the 2nd round of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection from the Toronto Minor Midget AAA Marlboros. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Guryev suited up for the maroon and white 14 times last season. The 6’3” defenceman recently sat down and provided fans insight into his transition to Canada and his first OHL season.
Blaind: Who is your biggest hockey influence?
Guryev: I would say my family but especially my dad. He would take me to his own hockey games and I would play against him and his friends. When I left Russia to come and play in Toronto my dad moved with me for support.
Blaind: You moved from Russia to Toronto and then Peterborough, what was the hardest part of that transition?
Guryev: The hardest part was probably the culture and language. I didn’t know any English before coming over so that was really challenging.
Blaind: What is something different about playing hockey in Russia from playing hockey in Canada?
Guryev: There isn’t much of a difference but hockey in Canada is a lot faster and the players have better skills. I had told my dad before that I wanted to play in Canada because it would be a good opportunity for me to improve. So far it’s been working out so I’m excited to see what the future holds.
Blaind: Who were you the closest with on the team?
Guryev: I was closest with John Parker-Jones. He is a really nice guy and a great leader. He and the other guys taught me a lot both on and off the ice.
Blaind: What was the highlight of your first season playing in the OHL?
Guryev: Because I only played 14 games, there is not a lot to choose from. I would say the biggest highlight would be getting my first OHL point against Sudbury.
Blaind: You went back and forth playing with the Petes and the Lindsay Muskies, how was that transition for you?
Guryev: It wasn’t that difficult because I had the opportunity to practice with the Petes in the morning and then with Lindsay in the afternoon. It was fun being able to play with both teams.
Blaind: How have you been doing during quarantine?
Guryev: I’ve been doing pretty good, my dad and I decided to stay in Peterborough. I am driving every day to Toronto to train with a friend at his gym and then I go to Oakville to get some ice time. I’ve been keeping busy.
Blaind: How did you feel when the season got cancelled?
Guryev: I was pretty upset. I wanted the chance to play more games. Before the cancellation, I got suspended as well so that made it really tough for me.
Blaind: What have you been doing to be ready for when the season starts?
Guryev: I have been doing a lot of weight training to build muscle, added in more long-distance running mixed in with some sprints and getting on the ice as much as I can. It has been hard to find ice time but I have been playing on a lot of outdoor rinks in Lindsay with some friends and I was able to get ice time in Oakville. So I’ve been lucky compared to other guys.
Blaind: What are you looking forward to when you are able to come back to Peterborough and play again?
Guryev: I’m looking forward to seeing my teammates again and especially my coaches. I have a really good relationship with them. They are extremely supportive and helpful to make me stronger.
Blaind: Do you have any goals set for yourself throughout your hockey career?
Guryev: My number one goal is to get drafted to the NHL but I also have a goal for just being the best player that I can be. I am trying to push myself to the limits.
Despite a change in culture and learning a new language, Guryev has adapted to Peterborough with ease. The Moscow native has continued to train and maintain his strength through the extended offseason and looks forward to achieving his goals in the upcoming season.
Want to read about Guryev’s teammate, Cole Patey? Click here to learn more about Patey’s experience playing in the 2019 Canada Games.