Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Semyon Der-Arguchintsev to Entry-Level Contract

Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Semyon Der-Arguchintsev to Entry-Level Contract
New deal adds to Der-Arguchintsevs confidence in Leafs camp
TORONTO — Minutes after skating in his first NHL preseason game on Friday, Maple Leafs forward prospect Semyon Der-Arguchintsev barely had time to ditch his gear before he was putting pen to paper on a three-year, entry-level contract with Toronto.

Some might find such a chain of events overwhelming, but Der-Arguchintsev isnt the average up-and-comer. Only a week removed from his 18th birthday, the Leafs third-round selection (76th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft already carries himself with the confidence of a seasoned veteran.

NOTES: The Carolina Hurricanes shipped former Peterborough Petes forward Steven Lorentz, who played on a line with Der-Arguchintsev while with the Petes, to the AHLs Charlotte Checkers on Friday…. Former Petes Alan Quine and Dominik Masin had goals for the Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning respectively in NHL exhibition play Friday night.

Petes centre Semyon Der-Arguchintsev signs with Toronto Maple Leafs

I was laughing today during a four-on-four drill [because] he was out second. Who decided he was coming out second? He decided, head coach Mike Babcock said after practice on Saturday at MasterCard Centre. Thats how he feels about himself. He didnt wait for his turn until someone said he could go. He thinks he should be out there. Thats a good sign.

\”Hes a long way from the National Hockey League and hes got to get to work on his body and on his game. But those things dont happen overnight. But he does have an enthusiasm and he has an infectious personality. And hes an energy giver and I think thats important for a team sport.

Make no mistake: Der-Arguchintsev is a long way from landing in the NHL. But still the Leafs opted to keep the Peterborough Petes centreman in camp even after sending most junior players back to their respective teams last weekend.

Der-Arguchintsev appeared in 68 games with the Petes during the 2017-18 season and registered 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists), which ranked third among Peterborough skaters, behind overagers Nikita Korostelev and Logan DeNoble, and 11th among U18 skaters in the OHL.

After watching the intensity and enthusiasm Der-Arguchintsev brought to practice all week, management let it be known there may be a contract forthcoming, and that he was also likely to be getting in an exhibition game.

He played on the fourth line, sometimes on centre and sometimes on wing, and had a little time on the second power play unit in the game. While he did not get any points, the winning Leafs goal was scored off a faceoff he won.

“That was a special moment for me. It was a big day, he said. I had an idea [about the contract] the day before but I didnt really think about it. My first couple of shifts I was a little nervous, but I had a good chance in the first period and after that I was like okay, you can play. The contract was a nice bonus after.

The deal was announced after Der-Arguchintsev made his NHL exhibition season debut with the Maple Leafs in a 5-3 win Friday night over the Buffalo Sabres at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Play with or against Der-Arguchintsev though, and the idea he dealt with any nerves at all seems preposterous. The Moscow native (who goes by Sam) moved to Ontario with his family at 13. At the time he was unable to speak English, but came armed with ample hockey sense. Generously listed now at 5-foot-10 and 159 pounds, Der-Arguchintsev is small, but has grown into a big-time playmaker for the Petes. In his second junior season last year, Der-Arguchintsev exploded for 51 points (12 goals, 39 assists) in 68 games, nearly doubling his total from the season before.

The goal on Friday was for the teen to keep things simple against the Sabres, and any doubts he had about being able to succeed as that were well hidden.

In 131 career OHL regular season games, he has registered 80 points (20 goals, 60 assists), adding three goals and five assists in 12 career playoff games.

When you told me 11 years ago I was playing my first preseason game, I was nervous. He wasnt at all, chuckled Chris Mueller, one of Der-Arguchintsevs linemates. He plays with a lot of confidence and a lot of skill. [The Leafs] want him to learn the defensive side most of all now because its obvious how skilled he is.

Peterborough Petes centre Semyon Der-Arguchintsev signed a three-year entry level contract Friday with the National Hockey Leagues Toronto Maple Leafs.

The small plays he makes are fun to see, added defenceman Rasmus Sandin, who has played against Der-Arguchintsev in the OHL and skated in Fridays game. Hes a confident player and that makes him fun to watch. Hes not the biggest guy, but he can play a big game.    

Der-Arguchintsev played 11:48 against Buffalo, finishing plus-1 with two shots on goal and 2-for-7 in the faceoff circle. More than any stats (or dollar figures) that showed up on the page though, Der-Arguchintsev was emboldened by the experience itself, and the players he shared it with.

TORONTO,ON – SEPTEMBER 21: Semyon Der-Arguchintsev #85 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL pre-season game at Scotiabank Arena on September 21, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Sabres 5-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

The contract isnt giving you confidence, right? he said. Its not about the contract, its about being around the guys and learning from the coaches, thats what you get confidence from and thats what my main goal is, to just get better.

With no timeline set on when Der-Arguchintsev will be sent back to the OHL – although Babcock hinted cuts may be coming by Sunday – hes gathering information now to take with him to Peterborough when the time comes.

I have to work on my legs, and Ive talked to trainers about that here and I have to work on my conditioning, he said. My shot should be better, too. Ive learned how you have to eat, how you have to work out. On the ice, have to practice a lot at 100%, and be intense every day.

When the Leafs named teams to play against the Ottawa Senators in pre-season, fans cried out for the youngster to be included – finally getting their wish as he dressed in the Leafs’ 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Having handed Der-Arguchintsev one of the teams 50 available contracts, the Leafs believe hell successfully turn teachings into progress over the coming seasons.

The Leafs selected SDA in the third round (76th overall) in this year’s entry draft, with the Russian centre being the youngest player in the entire draft – having been born on the first day of eligibility.

Hes a good kid, smile on his face all the time, Babcock said. Right now hes faster when he has the puck than without it, so hes got to learn to work hard without it, but thats all part of it. I think hes learned a lot here, but hes got good skill and good feel.

Share Share Toronto Maple Leafs Sign Semyon Der-Arguchintsev to Entry-Level Contract tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images The Toronto Maple Leafs announced this evening that theyve signed centre Semyon Der-Aguchintsev to an entry-level contract.

The contract comes after Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, commonly referred to as SDA, impressed greatly during the Toronto Maple Leafs’ training camp and pre-season games.

The @MapleLeafs announced today that the hockey club has signed forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev to a three-year entry level contract. #TMLtalk

Selected 76th overall in the 2018 draft, SDA immediately captured the imagination of Leafs twitter with his elusive skating and superior playmaking. Hell also be the youngest player signed by the Leafs organization, having just turned 18 last week. His performance impressed the Leafs enough to get him past the first round of cuts in training camp and, while hes not going to make the team this season, hes performed well enough to get fans excited for his future exploits.

Whether he makes the jump or not, the early returns on SDA are very encouraging for a third-round pick. Have a look at some of his work for the OHLs Peteborough Petes here.