Kolosov & Fedotov are both on their way over, But What can the Flyers Truly Expect of them?

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With both the Flyers’ 2021 third-round pick goalie Alexei Kolosov’s team the, Dinamo Minsk, and their 2015 seventh-round pick goalie Ivan Fedotov’s CSKA Red Army Team being recently booted out of the KHL playoffs. We, the fans of the Philadelphia Flyers, received some inspiring and unexpected news recently when it broke that the team was working on getting both Alexei and Ivan over stateside to get some experience playing some North American-style hockey.

But as exciting as that news is, what can we expect from these two netminders this season? It’s no secret that Russian netminders are all the craze right now. It seems that if you want to be considered a true Stanley Cup contender, you must have one in between the pipes. Take, for instance, the Florida Panthers, who have Sergei Bobrovsky (who the Flyers should have never gotten rid of); the Tampa Bay Lightning, who have Andrei Vasilevskiy; the New York Rangers with Igor Shesterkin; the Colorado Avalanche with Alexander Georgiyev, to Carolina with Pyotr Kochetkov. So, it’s no surprise that struggling teams have tried to mimic those powerhouses by drafting Russian netminders of their own, like the Islanders who have Ilya Sorokin, and the Predators who drafted the young superstar in the making Yaroslav Askarov. That’s why, only recently, the Flyers put aside their antiquated ideas on what works in the net and decided to draft some of their own.

So, because of the war and everything else going on with Russia over the past couple of years. I know getting tape and information on these two has been challenging, to say the least, so let me let you know what to expect.

Ivan Fedotov

First, let’s start with the long-awaited 6’7 212 pound Ivan Fedotov. Getting this player stateside has been a chore. From being forced into military service upon signing with the Flyers to his KHL team, then failing to abide by IIHF rulings and sanctions, Russia was not willing to let this guy go, and for good reason.

This now 27-year-old netminder became a breakout star in the 2021-2022 season after being voted an All-Star and later being named the KHL’s Best Goalie that same year after posting a 2.00 goals-against-average (G.A.A.) in the regular season. He also carried his country to a Silver Medal at the Olympics that year and came back to the KHL after the Olympic break and was able to win 16 out of 22 games where he averaged an incredible 1.85 G.A.A. and a .937 save percentage to win his team the leagues championship the Gagarin Cup.

Returning to competition this season after having to take a year off to play soldier, Ivan was in net for 44 games for the Red Army, posting a 2.37 G.A.A. and a .914 SV% and earning four shutouts along the way. But he was a below .500 goalie with a record of 21-22-1 and won just one of five games played in the KHL playoffs this year. Now, talk about competition. Those regular season numbers were good enough to rank him 9th in wins, 21st in the league in G.A.A., and 35th in SV%.

Fedotov is holding a press conference with Danny Briere today at 11 am and is expected to join the Flyers to aid Sam Ersson as the team is gearing up for a playoff push.

Alexei Kolosov

Next up is the much younger 22-year-old Alexei Kolosov. Alexei is signed by the Flyers through the 25-26 season and stands at a more common 6’0 185 pounds. Now, while he plays in the KHL, Kolosov is actually from Belarus. And while Fedotov’s game may focus on using his size to take up as much net as possible. Alexei depends on being a bit more agile, where he uses his silky smooth skating abilities to get from one side of the net to the other with lightning-quick speed.

While playing for the Minsk this year, he saw 47 games of action during the regular season, where he was able to win 22 of them while averaging a 2.39 G.A.A. and a .907 SV%. He posted four shutouts during the season and was also able to see some post-season hockey, where he was able to win just two of six games, posting a very respectable 2.21 G.A.A. and .925 SV%. Alexei ranked seventh in the KHL in wins this season, 22nd in G.A.A., and 43rd in SV%.

Briere has gone on record saying that he thinks that Kolosov will join the Phantoms when he arrives, but they are trying to work through a bit of work visa troubles with him right now. So, they don’t exactly know when to expect his arrival just yet.

Now, for a bit of reality, while most say that the KHL is one of the best leagues in the world, I don’t know if its players would even be on the same level as those in the NCAA right now. Case in point. Some of the KHL’s top scores this year were Reid Boucher and former Flyer Jordan Weal. Both of them were career call-up guys who spent most of their time in the States, bouncing from the AHL to the NHL and back down to the AHL.

And as far as netminders go, one of the best goalies in the KHL this year has been Canada’s 28-year-old Zachary Fucale. Who after being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NHL draft by the Montreal Canadiens, he has spent most of his North American career going from the ECHL to the AHL. In fact, this goalie who had so much hype around him before being drafted to date has only managed to play in just four NHL games.

So, I say that to say this: while I and all of you hope that these two KHL goaltending stars of the Flyers system will be able to transition flawlessly to the North American game, don’t be surprised if it takes a little bit for them to get accustomed to both the speed of the game played on a much smaller rink than they are used to, and the level of talent in which they will now be forced to have to face.

Lance Green

I’m a lifelong Flyers fan who has been playing the sport of Ice Hockey we all know and love competitively for over 30 years now. I grew up playing in-between the pipes where I was able to take in the whole game and analysis just what the team needed to do to help us win. Over the years I always enjoyed reading and gaining as much knowledge as possible about this great sport, but always thought it lacked something. A players prospective!