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Flyers Goalie Prospect Ivan Fedotov Talks About Draft, Playing in Russia in Interview

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Ivan Fedotov at 2022 Winter Olympics (AP photo)

Philadelphia Flyers goalie prospect Ivan Fedotov is in Russia, presumably, waiting for the resolution of his contract dispute, preparing for another hockey season.

The Philadelphia Flyers and the NHL believe they have a valid contract with Fedotov. So does Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

For now, both sides can only guess about the 26-year-old goaltender’s future. Fedotov is considered one of the best goalies in the world not playing in the NHL. It is believed that Fedotov could make the Flyers’ roster coming out of training camp.

If he makes training camp.

International Ice Hockey Federation president Luc Tardif said last week a ruling on Fedotov’s contract would be “soon.” Fedotov and the Russian Olympic Committee team won an Olympic silver medal in the 2022 Games after losing to Finland in the gold-medal game.

Meanwhile, Fedotov gave an interview to Russian media outlet gazeta.ru. The translation is from Google.

Russia or North America?

Fedotov talked about the NHL, where he recently said he would want to play, but now sounds as if he’s happy to play in Russia.

“There were moments when I wanted to try my hand at the NHL, but hockey is a brutal, serious sport, and you have to have certain skills to succeed in it,” Fedotov said.

“Perhaps at a stage when it was difficult to make myself known, I wanted to get into the NHL, and I was ready to break through the minor leagues there. But everything that is done is for the best.

“I am very glad that everything turned out this way, and in Russia they finally believed in me. I was given the opportunity.

“In Chelyabinsk [a city in west-central Russia], I took a serious step forward after my period in the Salavat Yulaev [Russian hockey team] system. I was able to justify the expectations of people with my result, my attitude to work. I was able to become who I am and move on.”

Drafted by Flyers

Fedotov was asked about being drafted by the Flyers in 2015. Philadelphia selected Fedotov in the seventh round, 188th overall.

“It happened when I was 18 years old,” Fedotov said. “Then I played for the youth team of Neftekhimik Reaktor, but I spent a lot of time with the first team.

“I trained with them, went to matches, got a lot of experience. Played some home and away matches. The choice in the NHL draft is a certain motivation to continue to prove something and improve.

“When you grow up, your perception of such events changes, and you look at certain things more rationally. But then it was very cool, because every boy wants to be noticed and appreciated.”

Fedotov said he didn’t have an easy road to success. 

“Returning to reality: Of course, I had certain difficulties along the way,” Fedotov said. “While there is no well-known name yet and some professional skills are missing, young guys need trust and certain advances, which they must then justify.

“Now young guys are given more opportunities to express themselves — and thank God that this is so. The trend is changing.

“But when I came, it was very difficult for young guys to make themselves known and get into the main teams … because there are big contracts, results were required, and not every team was ready to take risks and give a chance to young guys who still have to adapt and add in some aspects.”

His Youth

Fedotov talked about his sporting interests when he was a kid. He enjoyed swimming. He devoted half a year to karate.

“I came to hockey relatively late — around 8 years old. I made this choice because the two main sports in Russia are football [soccer] and hockey,” Fedotov said.

“After the World Championship — 2000, our kids began to show more attention to hockey [that World Cup was in St. Petersburg, Russia]. I was one of those who were offered to try hockey, and I think that then I made the right choice.

“I was very carried away and imbued with the spirit of this coldness, pressure, dynamics and struggle.”

Fedotov was asked about his successes in hockey.

“If we talk about the most global successes, then this is the debut for the national team,” Fedotov said. “For every boy, the opportunity to represent his country at the international level is beyond dreams, it is a great honor and responsibility.

“So I will single out my debut for the national team. At that time, I also traveled to the world championships, although I had not played yet. 

“It was still a cool experience, because there is a certain aura, an atmosphere of responsibility and high tasks. I will also note participation in the Gagarin Cup [given to the KHL champion]— all of these together are the most significant achievements in that period.”

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