Yet another goalie joins the fray! Today, the Flyers announced that Kirill Ustimenko has agreed to his entry level contract. The Russian (Belarusian born) U-18/20 international currently plays in the MHL (Russian Junior League) for Dynamo St. Petersburg where he posted a 0.927 % save percentage in 46 appearances (stats via elite prospects). He helped his club reach the Conference Semi-Finals of the MHL playoffs, where he played in 6 games with a 0.917% save percentage.
Here’s some more notes on him from the Flyers’ press release:
He posted a 30-12-3 record in 46 regular season games for Dynamo St. Petersburg in the Russian Junior League (MHL) where he had a 1.78 goals-against-average and .927 save percentage.
He led all MHL goaltenders, and set an all-time MHL record, with 12 shutouts this past season.
In three seasons in the Russian Junior League, all with Dynamo St. Petersburg, he had an 83-28-12 record with a lifetime save percentage of .930 and 1.79 GAA to go along with 26 career shutouts.
Internationally, he appeared in two games, going 2-0-0, with a 0.50 GAA and .984 save percentage for Team Russia at the Under-18 World Junior Champions, helping the Russians win the bronze medal.
That sounds quite promising! As much as one can question the level of play in Russian Junior Leagues, it is still a good sign to see Ustimenko play to such a high standard, and even set records. In the press release, the Flyers have him listed at 6’3”, 187 lbs, which doesn’t matter much, but it is always nice to have a bigger goalie who can take up a lot of net.
Ustimenko was the Flyers’ 3rd round pick (80th overall) in 2017, and for a player who has gone relatively unknown, any production from him can be seen as valuable. It’s unknown at this point where he will play next season, but it will be either in Allentown with the Phantoms, or in the ECHL. Alex Lyon will almost certainly be the starter for the Phantoms, with Felix Sandström serving as the backup having signed from Sweden. It’s certainly possible that Ustimenko gets playing time in the AHL if there is an injury, but he’ll probably begin his time in North America in the ECHL.