He may not be the most vocal player on the Stampede, but Artem Ivanyuzhenkov makes his presence known when he’s on the ice.
“I think I’m a little bit quieter, but I understand most things that they say. Maybe I can’t speak, but I understand everything. I’m just big Russian guy who tries to score the goals, make points, hit people,” said Ivanyuzhenkov.
“No he’s not vocal, but his English is really good. He’s very well respected, very well liked, and he’s looked up too,” said Stampede Head Coach Scott Owens.
Take a look at him at practice this week and Ivanyuzhenkov’s aggressiveness shows.
“I just stay like in front of net, and guy just tried to pull up my stick up and just missed me and hit me right in the lip, break my teeth,” said Ivanyuzhenkov.
Nine stitches and a broken tooth later, Artem wasn’t phased by his injury last week against Sioux City, where he took a high stick to the face.
“The weird thing, my mother was here,” he added.
Artem was born in New York, but grew up in Russia. With the 5,000 miles separating him from home there comes plenty of transitions in his new life.
“I think this is the biggest crowd I have played in. In my KHL team in my hometown we would have like 5,000 people maximum but is like 10. So I will miss this I think and I will miss the league,” said Ivanyuzhenkov.
He’s also the oldest player of the roster, after returning to Sioux Falls for his second year in the USHL, he hopes that he can also be a leader for his teammates.
“I think they look at me and maybe learn something from me because I’m the oldest in the room, but I think I teach them something,” said Ivanyuzhenkov.
Ivanyuzhenkov led the Herd this season with 50 points during the regular season, but it’s his 6’3 stature and his physicality that separates him from others on the ice, as Artem makes the most of his final year in the USHL.
“He’s the big body, he has some presence physically, he’s got a great shot, he’s become a very good player in this league. He’s got a good presence on the power play when with his shot when he’s in the middle, but he’s also good and strong on the wall. So people are aware when they’re playing against him, when opposing teams are playing against him.,” said Owens.
“You know it’s my last year in junior hockey, so I want to win this cup to win something in junior hockey, so that is why I still play here and try to win this round and go as far as we can,” said Ivenyuzhenkov.
The 21-year-old says he doesn’t know what is in his future when it comes to hockey, but he does know he wants to play professionally whether that’s in Russia or the United States.