Semyon Der-Arguchintsev is scheduled to be the fourth-line centre tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. He’ll play on a line with Dmytro Timashov and experienced centre Chris Mueller as his other winger.
The surprising thing about this scrum with the youngest player on the Maple Leafs training camp roster is that it is a scrum. This isn’t one of those carefully staged interviews with Paul Hendrick away from the press corps.
Der-Arguchintsev, also known to us as SDA and to his teammates in Peterborough as Sammy, sounds like a veteran at this PR game.
He says he’s not going to expect too much of himself, but he plans to play D-zone right. Mike Babcock will love hearing that is his first priority. He mentions that he has watched Leafs games from the stands over the last two years. He has said in past interviews that his brother knows Nikita Zaitsev, so that’s how he got seats.
I love his total nonchalance about his size. He’s not concerned about it, and he’s just a touch annoyed that they asked if he was. He tells them the obvious — he’s always on the ice with bigger guys.
And yes, okay, he looks like he escaped from grade nine, not like a nearly-pro hockey player.