But all of this could not become reality, as at the age of three, his parents brought Dima to figure skating. Two months passed, but this sport did not catch on with Rashevsky. But after watching a hockey game with his father, he realized that he wanted to play hockey.
“When I got to hockey, I already knew how to skate, unlike others. But practices were hard; I was a very active and irresponsible kid. When the coach said something, I was skating in the corner, doing my own things: throwing pucks over the board for some reason, practicing different skills. Of course, with such a level of discipline, the coach soon moved me to a weaker group".
In such a situation, it was impossible to avoid a serious conversation with his father, who was a boxing coach and understood how hard it was to win. Dmitry became more responsible about his practices – the number of which doubled, by the way – and in addition to the sports school, he trained with his new team, Neva.
“They built a new ice rink near our place, and that started playing there. I would practice, then get in the car, change equipment, and go with my dad to my second practice. One day the coach put the second group I played in against the first group. I scored a hat-trick, and he was shocked; how could a reserve player score three against the first group? Then he said, ‘Go back to the first group, maybe you’ll play in the fourth line. My dad then decided it was better to train and play closer to home.”
With a real goalscoring talent, Rashevsky initially really wanted to play in goal, but his parents intervened.
“Dad and mom said, ‘What are you going to do standing there, freezing? A goalie is always there standing, and he’s cold – you’ll get cold, you’ll get sick.’ However, no one had an actual role by then, though. Those who were less skilled with the puck were sent to play in goal. Guys who were more powerful and taller were put on defense. And the little and quick ones were assigned to offensive duties.”
In his childhood, Dmitry, like any other boy, had backyard rinks to play in, without all the luster of professional ice rinks, but with a lameness and authenticity inherent only in them. From the age of five, Rashevsky played there all winter long.
“Adults and amateur players where there. And I played with them, every winter. It used to be more accessible than it is now, there was a rink in every yard, at least in my district. Next to our place we had a big rink for hockey and another, slightly smaller, for figure skaters. There was a hockey team in the yard, called Smena.”
Like most young hockey players in the mid-2000s, Dmitry followed Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk. Later, as he grew up, he had a new idol, who, like Rashevsky himself, was from St. Petersburg.
“When I understood more about hockey, I was attracted to Maxim Sushinsky, our guy from St. Petersburg. They always say that there are no local guys in SKA, only newcomers. But he is a native St. Petersburger, a great player, and a good person.”
At the professional level, Rashevsky got his chance and fully latched onto it. He admits that he never thought about playing in the second line of a KHL club, “the fourth line would have been equally good”, he says. But hard work and the coach’s confidence did the trick.
“I used to be very nervous when I went out for games. Now I’m calm and I really want to win. I hate to lose; I always want to be of useful to the team and reach a result. When everything works, you get real pleasure from the game. When you run the whole game without the puck and you also get hurt, what kind of pleasure is that? You can’t sleep until 3 a.m., you’re going over in your head with what you did wrong, you’re worried, you’re racing your thoughts. As I got older, I realized that it was useless, why burden my nervous system unnecessarily? You need to get to conclusions and correct mistakes in future games.”
Rashevsky is studying to become a coach so to pass on his experience to the younger generation. Even more so considering the clear example of his father, who from a young age helped Dmitry to become a professional.
“My father teached me a lot, he kept telling me every day what I had to do to become a top player. The three most important points are nutrition, sleep, and practicing hard. The more, the better. You also need to rest, but it is better to rest actively, so to be in good shape the next day. Sometimes players are given two days off, and when they come back, they put on five kgs, and the practice leaves them gasping for air.”
Dmitry’s hobbies are cyber sports and cryptocurrency. Among computer games, he prefers shooters team vs team. In those games, it is important not only to shoot well, but also to work as a team and to think strategically.
“It’s just like in hockey – you also have five players, with plenty of interactions and situations where you need to act like a team. Regarding cryptocurrency, I study how to trade on the exchange, where to invest. It interests me, sometimes I buy shares. I even have a mining farm at home, such a small passive income. I go to the app, look at the market – what is promising and what is not. Now this is a trend among young people, because this is what the future holds. A lot of players on our team are doing it, just some invest more, some invest less".
But the main thing in Rashevsky’s life is hockey. Judging by his results in the first part of the season, he came to the KHL seriously and for a long time.
“When I was 15, I realized that hockey was my future. When you go out on the ice, you experience something incredible. I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to leave some kind of mark on history.”
Born on Oct 09, 2000, in St. Petersburg.
Playing career: JHC Dynamo (JHL), 2018-2020; Dynamo St. Petersburg (VHL), 2020-2021; Dynamo Moscow (KHL), 2020-today.
Achievements: Kharlamov Cup champion (2021)
Director and producer: Zhanna Chernenko
Operator: Yury Boyarchenko
Editing: Anna Averkina
Design: Evgeny Shcherbin