The Pipeline: A conversation with Matthew Seminoff
Matthew Seminoff was born in Leesburg, Virginia, but his hockey roots run deep in British Columbia.
His love for hockey started down south, but moving back to Canada is where he developed his game.
“I was born in Leesburg. I grew up in a town called Ashburn in Virginia. I lived there til I was about six.,” Seminoff told Guy Flaming on The Pipeline Show. “I was playing down there. I learned to skate with my dad. He used to play Junior A hockey in Kelowna when he was around my age. He taught me how to skate, kinda got me into the game. So I was playing down there when I was three or four.”
The 5-foot-11, 180 pound forward is second on the Kamloops Blazers with 46 points (21 goals, 25 assists) in 46 games.
Seminoff is No. 75 in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft, and sits at 50th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm list.
The 18-year-old is on pace to score 30 goals this season, but doesn’t consider himself a point producer.
“I don’t really necessarily think of myself as a goal scorer or just a point guy,” he said. “I think I can have a good game when I have no points. I pride myself on doing the little things and trying to be useful in all areas of the game. I think that’s what a lot of teams are looking for, you just have to work hard.”
Guy Flaming: On an individual basis, Matthew, you happy with your play this year? I mean, a point-per-game guy. You’ve got 16 goals in 36 games this year and a point-per-game player. I have to think you’re pretty happy with that.
Matthew Seminoff: Yeah, definitely. It’s always fun when you’re scoring goals and stuff. At the end of the day I’ve been pretty blessed to have three good years with three good teams. It always helps when you’re coming to the rink and you got a chance to win every single night. I’ve been pretty happy and it’s been fun this year.
Guy Flaming: Is there a guy or two that you think you have the best chemistry with?
Matthew Seminoff: Yeah, there’s a certain guy right now. I’ve been playing with Fraser Minten, who’s another guy eligible for the draft this year. I think everybody on our team plays a good game, plays hard, and I think that’s what makes it so easy to go out there on the ice and play with anybody.
Guy Flaming: Where are you from, where did you grow up?
Matthew Seminoff: I grew up in Vancouver. Coquitlam to be exact. Not that far from Kamloops. I actually have a little bit of family up here, which was nice coming my first year to have some people at the games and some familiar faces.
Guy Flaming: I have to ask. Your profile page at eliteprospects.com says that your place of birth is Leesburg, Virginia. Were you actually born in the States?
Matthew Seminoff: Yeah I was born in Leesburg. I grew up in a town called Ashburn in Virginia. I lived there until I was about six. So I’m actually a dual citizen with USA and Canada.
Guy Flaming: So, then when you moved here is that when you started playing or did you actually find some ice down there to play on?
Matthew Seminoff: I was playing down there. I learned to skate with my dad. He used to play junior A hockey in Kelowna when he was around my age. He taught me how to skate, kinda got me into the game. So I was playing down there when I was three or four.
Guy Flaming: I’ve got to ask about the draft. When I ask draft eligible guys about the draft, lot of them will say they try not to think about it because they don’t want the distraction. Other guys want to know where they’re ranked because they use that as motivation. What about for you, Matthew?
Matthew Seminoff: I don’t think too much of it. I don’t really have social media on my phone, so I don’t really look through any lists or any rankings. I think it’s kind of, not necessarily a distraction, but you can get too high or too low looking at that stuff. I think for me if I’m working hard and I’m doing everything I can to get shots on net and make plays and just compete out there, it will all work out how it’s supposed to. I think you’re not playing your best hockey if you’re thinking about where you should go in the draft. I think you’re playing your best when you’re trying to win and when you’re trying to help the team win. That’s kind of been more my mindset.
Guy Flaming: For the fans who haven’t had a chance to watch the Blazers play and haven’t had a chance to watch you play, they look and they’ll see the 36 points in 36 games, but that might not tell the complete picture of what Matthew Seminoff is all about. So, when people ask you, how do you describe yourself as a player?
Matthew Seminoff: I don’t really necessarily think of myself as a goal scorer or just a point guy. I think I can have a good game when I have no points. I pride myself on doing the little things and trying to be useful in all areas of the game. I think that’s what a lot of teams are looking for, you just have to work hard.
This interview has been edited for content and clarity.