When he is on the ice, 6-foot-4, 229-pound Dmitry Osipov uses his large frame to intimidate and crunch opponents. In seven games with the Wolves this season, Osipov owns a +3 plus/minus rating and registered his first AHL assist on Jan. 6 in a 2-0 victory over the Grand Rapids Griffins. Wolves sideline reporter Mark Citron sat down with the defenseman to discuss life off the ice for the Wolves rookie.
Q: How did you get so good at speaking English? A lot of Russian players have difficulty speaking English when they first come over to play hockey in North America.
A: Well, when I came in with my junior team (the Western Hockey League’s Vancouver Giants) they hired a personal teacher for the first year. Then, practicing through that and after the season I came home (to Russia) and my girlfriend speaks English fluently, so she helped me out. Learning words, how to describe something, kind of that stuff. Then my second year I did the harder courses at the school and started picking up the language with my teammates.
Q: What’s your favorite off-ice activity?
A: I mean, it used to be driving the (motorcycle) – before I signed my first pro contract. In Russia, when I had my old bikes, I would ride around three or four hours in the city and go to a coffee shop, sit and drink coffee and then do another couple laps around the city.
Other than that, I like to fix things. For example, in Vancouver at my billet’s (house), one of his kid’s old bike was in the backyard. It was four years old sitting there and no one started it. I just fixed it because I had nothing to do and hate being bored. I spent a week fixing that one and rode it a bit. I am a mechanic kind of guy, so I love fixing stuff.
Q: Let’s switch to your teammates. Do you have assigned roommates?
A: For the last couple trips, I have been living with Tyler Wong. They try to switch it up, but I have a good relationship with everybody. Nobody pranks me, so we are good with each other.
Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?
A: I really think this is painful for everyone, but it’s when your neighbors start drilling something at 7 in the morning or construction is going on – if they start moving stuff that is heavy either above or beneath you. It really blows my mind why someone would want to do that at 7 in the morning.
Q: What is the best part about playing for the Wolves?
A: Everything. It is a great organization. Everything we have done so far is good. All the community events we have had and those little things like meeting up with the fans and the ticket-holders was really good. I have even been noticed a couple times downtown. Everything about the Chicago Wolves is awesome.