|Artyom "Arty" Borshyov, left at Under-18 WC (photo by Steve Kingsman)
Quinnipiac will be adding another European player to their roster in the near future with the recent commitment of Belarus native Artyom Borshyov. "Arty" as he likes to be called just captained the Belarus Under-18 team to a quarterfinal finish at the World Championships in Russia before committing to Quinnipiac for the 2019-2020 season. Currently back home in the Belarus training for the upcoming season, Arty was gracious enough to give the BobcatsHockeyBlog some time for a Q&A about hockey, his transition to playing in the United States and his international playing experience. Thanks again to Arty and welcome again to Bobcat Nation.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: First off congratulations. What are feelings like after making this decision?
Artyom Borshyov: I’m very excited to join this program! It is unbelievable like in a fairy tale. My whole family are very excited.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us when you first started playing hockey and how you got into it?
Artyom Borshyov: I started to play hockey when I was 7-years-old. At first I wasn’t doing great at it, but after a couple years, I began to take hockey more seriously and it helped me a lot.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Most people know that Belarus was part of the former USSR which dominated international hockey prior to the breakup in the late 1980's early 1990's. What is hockey like in Belarus today and is the talent level rising in the country?
Artyom Borshyov: Yes, the talent level is rising. Hockey is the biggest sport in Belarus. Everyone loves it. As for the national teams for (U-17 and U-18) they have exactly the same program like you guys have with the United States National Developmental Program.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: You recently played in the Under-18 World Championships for the second time in two years and captained this years team. What was that experience like?
Artyom Borshyov: It was unbelievable experience! Last year was the first year in 10 years that we played in elite division. We were in last place in the group and we played Latvia in the relegation round. It was the first time in 14 years that Belarus stayed in Elite division. That was awesome.
This year we did even better! For the first time in 16 years we went to a playoff round (lost in quarterfinals to eventual gold medal winner Finland). It was incredible especially for me because I was the team captain.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Prior the Under-18 World Championships did you have any contact with Quinnipiac or was it after playing the United States where Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold was an assistant did the recruiting of you start?
Artyom Borshyov: I didn’t have any contact with coach Pecknold before Under-18 World Championships. It was after the game, when we played the United States, we met each other and talked about Quinnipiac University.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Were other programs showing interest in you and if so which ones?
Artyom Borshyov: I think RPI was the first school that called my coach Bill Flanagan of the Northern Cyclones.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is it safe to assume you committed to Quinnipiac without having visited the campus given the timeline of the world championships being held recently and you currently back in your native Belarus?
Artyom Borshyov: That is the case but the first thing I will do after I will be done with my school here in Belarus is to visit the Quinnipiac campus over the summer.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What factors went into committing to Quinnipiac after meeting with coach Pecknold at the Under-18 World Championships?
Artyom Borshyov: He said that they liked the way I played at World Championships. He told me a lot about the school and it wasn’t a big problem for me to make a decision without going for a visit.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us about your overall game. What are some of your strengths as a player?
Artyom Borshyov: I like to play more of an offensive style for a defenseman. I like to jump in on the rushes, make some good plays and to play more in the offense zone rather than defensive zone.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What are some of the areas of your game you want to improve on before reaching Quinnipiac?
Artyom Borshyov: I think I need to work on my skating especially on the transitions, because NCAA Division I hockey is some of the fastest hockey in the world.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Are their plans for you to work with a skating coach this summer to improve that part of your game?
Artyom Borshyov: Yes, we have a good skating coach here so I will be practicing with him to improve my skating ability to try to make it a strength going forward.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: You were recently drafted by Tri-City in the USHL. Do you have any plans to try to make Tri-City in 2018-2019 or will you be returning to the Northern Cyclones again for next season?
Artyom Borshyov: I will be going to the Tri-City main training camp and I will be trying to make the team's roster for the upcoming season.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Being a 2000 birthday you will be eligible for the NHL draft for the first time. Have you had any contact yet with NHL clubs or scouts?
Artyom Borshyov: I think a couple of NHL clubs were in touch with my coach from the Northern Cyclones.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What made you decide you wanted to play midget and junior hockey in the United States and was it a tough transition being so far from home?
Artyom Borshyov: Obviously hockey is better here and if you want to get better you have to leave and come to the United States. My first year was a tough because my whole life changed especially being in a different city, different country with different cultures and traditions.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Is there any player that you try to model your game after?
Artyom Borshyov: Not really, I like a lot of players but I’m not trying to model my game after anyone in particular.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Who has been the most influential person or persons in your life that have helped you get to this point?
Artyom Borshyov: My mum and dad. I would like to say thank you to them. Because without them I will not be in the position I am in right now with the opportunity to play NCAA Division I hockey.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: Tell us the type of person that the Quinnipiac University community is going to get in you?
Artyom Borshyov: I am a hard working person who has worked hard everywhere I played or when I have done something in life.
BobcatsHockeyBlog: What are some of things that Artyom Borshyov likes to do off the ice when he is not playing hockey?
Artyom Borshyov: I enjoy playing video games and soccer.
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