Who is Boris Dorozhenko? A look at the man behind Auston Matthews' development

Adam Laskaris
June 30 2016 07:00AM

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Photo via Boris Dorozhenko

Draft Day

Though the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft was must-see TV in the Toronto area and much of North America, Boris Dorozhenko didn’t see it live.

On Friday, June 24, at approximately 7:18 p.m. EST, Auston Matthews was selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the first overall pick in the draft. 

Dorozhenko, instructor at Next Generation Hockey schools, primarily based in Arizona, is the self-proclaimed creator of “Most unique & effective hockey player development system in the world”. He has been a coach of Matthews’ in one way or another since 2005. 

But while Matthews was trying on his new sweater, taking photos and being interviewed by just about every reporter that could find their way to Buffalo, Dorozhenko spent his Friday afternoon in a Phoenix Arizona rink teaching a regularly scheduled clinic.

“Someone has to be working,” Dorozhenko said.

Shortly after the selection was made, Dorozhenko found out while at the Arcadia Ice Arena — one of the very few arenas Matthews could truly call home. While it wasn’t necessarily a surprise, Dorozhenko said it was a great feeling to finally see his top pupil go as he — and just about everyone else in the hockey world expected — first overall in the draft. 

Dorozhenko, originally from Ukraine, was briefly interviewed and mentioned in Dave Feschuk’s Toronto Star story on Matthews the day before the draft. But his appearance was mostly told through the words of former NHLer Russ Courtnall and his son, Lawton, a student of Dorozhenko's, and current commit to Western Michigan University for the 2016-17 season.

Dorozhenko also recently featured in a piece a week before the draft by the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle entitled “How Auston Matthews became hockey’s hottest prospect”, contributing this lone quote about Matthews:

“People will say, ‘Wow, this kid is coming from Arizona – this is just a miracle,’” Dorozhenko said. “But he was an absolutely normal kid. Athletic. Co-ordinated. He always had a little bit better hands and could surprise everybody with a little bit of puckhandling. But every year his talent was increasing by hard work. He put in very hard work to increase his talent.”

The mention in Feschuk’s article and the 403-word Meet Boris section of Mirtle’s story sheds a brief insight into Matthews’ coach, but like any 400 word story, only shows a limited scope of a person.

So let’s meet Boris Dorozhenko, the brainchild behind Auston Matthews’ skating skill. 


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The Oilers Trade Taylor Hall to New Jersey

baggedmilk
June 29 2016 01:26PM


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Wait... let me compose myself. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *faints* The Oilers have reportedly traded Taylor Hall to New Jersey straight across for Adam Larsson.

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Exploring the options for Steven Stamkos through Twitter

Adam Laskaris
June 29 2016 10:59AM

In a perfect world, every team in the NHL would like Steven Stamkos on their roster.

But in reality, there's only going to be one team that ends up with him when he hits free agency on July 1st.

Where it is is anybody's best guess. There's been rumours of front-runners and dark horses emerging, but until his deal is finalized, there will be theories swirling everywhere about where Stamkos is going, how much he'll sign for, and why. 

From the wonderful world of hockey Twitter, here's a take from each fanbase on why Stamkos should go to their city. 

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The End Of The Eric Lindros Trade Chain

Cam Lewis
June 28 2016 03:12PM

Not only can we put an end to the “Is Eric Lindros A Hall of Famer?” argument, we can also close the book on the blockbuster trade that sent him from the Quebec Nordiques to the Philadelphia Flyers before his career even began. 

After being passed over six times, Eric Lindros, who scored 372 goals and 493 assists over 760 NHL games, was finally inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame this week. Interestingly enough, on the day he was inducted, the Colorado Avalanche also didn’t offer defenceman Brandon Gormley a qualifying offer, making him a free agent, and officially putting to bed a string of players acquired by the Avs that began when the franchise, back when they were still in Quebec City, drafted Lindros first overall in 1991. 

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NHL fines Canucks $50k for 'inappropriate public comments' violating tampering By-Law

Thomas Drance
June 28 2016 11:14AM

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Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the Vancouver Canucks have been levied an enormous $50,000 fine by the NHL for violating the league's tampering By-Laws, the league announced on Tuesday.

The fine has been levied as a result of comments Canucks general manager Jim Benning made this past Thursday in Buffalo, in which he expressed his interest - during an appearance with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price on TSN 1040 - in Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, a pending unrestricted free agent, and Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

The amount is double what then-Toronto Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson was fined for tampering back in 2009, when he made significantly more suggestive and pointed comments indicating that his club was interested in pursuing the Sedin twins. You'd think that perhaps the league just doubled the Wilson fine because Benning mentioned two players, but then, that doesn't make sense, because Henrik and Daniel Sedin are two distinct individuals also, even if we often group them together for obvious reasons...

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