With the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL currently not playing, a lot of the focus has shifted to the prospects seeing action across North America and Europe. One of Orange and Black’s picks that has been killing it over in the KHL is Ivan Fedotov, a goalie former general manager Ron Hextall selected in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’8” netminder takes up a lot of the crease (Ben Bishop and Mikko Koskinen were the tallest goalies to play in the league last year at 6’7”) and he’s been using that size to keep pucks out of the cage over in Russia.
After playing a total of four games for Salavat Yulaev Ufa between the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, Fedotov was one of the three assets the club sent to Traktor Chelyabinsk in a trade in May of 2019. Following 2019-20 where he went 10-16-2 with a .931 save percentage, 2.10 goals against average, and three shutouts the late-round pick is providing another noteworthy campaign over in the KHL.
So far in 2020-21 Fedotov is 8-3-1 with a .934 save percentage, 1.75 GAA, and 1 clean sheet in 13 appearances. With 752:40 of ice time this season he is one of 26 goalies to play 750 minutes or more as of this writing. Out of those 26 puck stoppers Fedotov is third in save percentage and second in GAA, as former Winnipeg Jet and member of the Tampa Bay Lightning Edward Pasquale is ahead of the Flyers’ prospect in both categories.
Traktor Chelyabinsk currently sits seventh in the 23-team league with 42 points in 32 games. Fedotov’s club doesn’t see a lot of goals overall as they are 12th in goals and have allowed the fourth-fewest goals across the KHL. Even if the Flyers’ prospect might possibly be benefit from playing low-event hockey he is still posting better numbers than Traktor’s starter Roman Will, who has a record of 11-8-1 with a .927 save percentage, 2.00 GAA, and two shutouts in 1,171:37 of work.
The expectations of a seventh-round pick actually having an impact for an organization at the NHL level are never high. Taken 188th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft Fedotov was the third goalie Hextall selected that year (Felix Sandstrom at 70 and Matej Tomek at 90) and the 19th of 24 goalies taken overall. Five of those 24 netminders have already seen NHL action: Ilya Samsonov (22nd overall to the Washington Capitals), Mackenzie Blackwood (42nd overall to the New Jersey Devils), Adin Hill (76th overall to the Arizona Coyotes), Samuel Montembeault (77th overall to the Florida Panthers), and Joey Daccord (199th overall to the Ottawa Senators). Daccord is one of only three goalies taken in the seventh round since 2015 to have seen the blue paint in the NHL (Cayden Primeau and Dylan Ferguson in 2017). Even with little expectations of having an impact in the NHL after he was drafted Fedotov has shown enough to warrant a potential look in North America.
The goalie’s contract with Traktor Chelyabinsk runs through the 2021-22 campaign and the Flyers hold his signing rights indefinitely so there’s no rush for Fedotov to come over anytime soon. With Carter Hart seemingly locked in as the Flyers’ starter for years to come the main question surrounding the blue paint for Philadelphia is who is going to back him up after Brian Elliott in 2020-21. Obviously there are a lot of other goalie prospects in the mix, but the names ahead of Fedotov haven’t exactly separated themselves from the pack. Alex Lyon is most likely taking part in his final season with the club in 2020-21. Sandstrom struggled in the ECHL during his first full pro season in North America. Samuel Ersson currently has an .895 save percentage in the SHL after he finished his first season in the league last year with the same save percentage. Kirill Ustimenko had decent numbers in the ECHL in 2019-20, but is struggling to get ice time in the Belarusian Extraleague A at the moment. Again all of these goalies still have plenty of potential to reach the show, but Fedotov is showing that he deserves to possibly get a look sometime in the near future.
*Stats via Cap Friendly, Hockey-Reference, and NHL.com