2021-22 Team: Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Date of Birth: Dec. 27, 2003
Place of Birth: Leesburg, VA
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 183 pounds
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
Hard work, determination, never-quit attitude, whatever superlative you want to use, Matthew Seminoff embodies it. Playing for the high-powered Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League (WHL) led by another worker bee in Logan Stankoven, there is rarely a shift where you will find him slacking off. Ultimately, that attribute alone will give him a good chance of gaining employment in an NHL lineup one day and becoming not only a favorite of the fans but his head coach as well. If you don’t believe me, just ask Blazers’ bench boss Shaun Clouston.
“The players who are really determined, have a high work ethic, a high level of commitment and determination and willingness to figure out a way to get better, they seem to do that — and Semi is a guy who is incredibly committed to getting better.”
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
That determination to get better was reflected in Seminoff’s massive improvement from his rookie season in 2019-20, where he put up only five goals and 15 points in 48 games, to his last two campaigns where he’s recorded 37 goals and 73 points in 86 games. That included a career-high 26 goals in 2021-22, finishing behind only Stankoven (45), Daylon Kuefler (38) and Luke Toporowski (35) in team scoring.
In addition to his extreme work ethic and relentless forechecking, Seminoff has speed bordering on elite, especially when it comes to his acceleration. No wonder he can get in on the forecheck in a flash. When defenders think they have time, they don’t, as he quickly gets in their face to force a decision to move the puck. Often, it results in a turnover and puck possession for his team. Because of that speed, he is also effective in transition as Matthew Somma from Smaht Scouting points out.
“Seminoff’s straight line speed makes him a weapon for Kamloops both in transition and on the forecheck. He’ll exit the zone with possession and ensure that his zone entries result in either shots or passes. Give Seminoff the puck and he’ll ensure that your team at is at least able to generate some offense off of the rush.”
Speed kills in the NHL, and Seminoff has it in spades. Combine that with his work ethic, effectiveness on the forecheck and willingness to pay the price in front of the net, and you have the makings of an elite third-line energy guy in the future. Think Jannik Hansen when he was in his prime with the Vancouver Canucks. Except, I don’t think he will be drafted 287th overall like he was back in 2004.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Matthew Seminoff – NHL Draft Projection
Seminoff is ranked all over the place from as high as 29th by Dobber Prospects to as low as 91st by Craig Button of TSN. That means, he could either be a first-rounder or a third-rounder. Pretty huge gap if you ask me. Considering his size and lack of elite scoring talent, that could be a reason to see him drop on draft day. Having said that, work ethic, speed and forechecking are valuable commodities to have in the NHL, especially when it comes to the grind of the playoffs. It’s those types of players that tend to thrive and make the difference. So, while I don’t think he will be a first-round pick, I could definitely see a team taking him in the mid-second round, just for the intangibles that don’t show up on the scoresheet.
“I’ve watched Seminoff over the past three seasons and the growth in his game over that span has been stellar…He has really emerged as an effective offensive contributor, including being a guy who does the creating. Yes, he plays on a talented line, but he generates things as well instead of being just a passenger. His hands are soft and quick, which allows him to control the puck well in tight traffic. He also has a keen eye for playmaking and can get pucks to their destination off of both his forehand and backhand.” – Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey
“Seminoff possesses a unique combination of dogged determination and soft hands around the net. As one fellow scout I spoke with said, “Seminoff absolutely lives on the inside.” He gets to the front of the net and establishes inside position to battle for rebounds and jam loose pucks into the net, has good hand-eye coordination to deflect incoming shots, and positions himself for dangerous shooting opportunities in the slot.” – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“Seminoff’s forechecking ability is something I could see frustrating teams for years to come. He constantly looks to establish an inside presence and get to loose pucks quicker than a defender. At that point, he’ll already be on the inside and have a clear shot at the net or an open teammate. Seminoff is so effective at stealing the puck and immediately moving it to a teammate for a scoring chance. He’ll work or force the puck into the middle and create high danger scoring chances.” – Matthew Somma, Smaht Scouting
- Work ethic
- Good in front of the net
- Two-way game
- Hockey IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Skating mechanics
As mentioned off the top, Seminoff, if he doesn’t make it as a top-six forward in the NHL, should be able to succeed in a bottom-six role as an energy player. His work ethic is off the charts, not only on the ice but off of it as well. He’s always looking to improve, so that alone will make it difficult to bet against him making it to the big leagues one day. His speed and forechecking are things every team needs in their lineup and will be the envy of every head coach as they watch him frustrate their defence night in and night out.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 6/10, Defence – 7/10
- Seminoff was named to the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in March where he played for Team Red.
Matthew Seminoff Statistics
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.