Uncertainty Surrounding Russian Players After Worrying Change of Events

Published May 2, 2023 at 10:04

It's already been widely speculated that Russian players will have a harder time making it to the NHL given the current state of their country. The ongoing war in Ukraine and rising global tensions have created animosity between the Russian Ice Hockey Federation and the rest of the hockey world. With concerns over the player's ability to leave, will Putin double down, or ease his grip?

Players Reportedly Forced to Stay in Russia, Complete Military Service


Ivan Fetodov, a former Philadelphia Flyers draft pick, made the news last year after it was revealed that the Russian goaltender had attempted to doge his military service, and was sentenced to military labor. He is now back with his Russian club, but it appears like the possibility of Fedotov ever being allowed to move across the pond and play for the Flyers has been ruled out. An NHL insider recently broke the news that Fedotov will be forced to stay in Russia for the entire duration of his career.

Getting word that CSKA GM said he expects Ivan Fedotov back from the army to play for his team for the rest of his career. - Russ Cohen

This itself is extremely concerning, but the implications that it holds for players yet to be drafted may be worse. Top prospects in this years NHL entry draft such as Matvei Michkov, Dmitri Simashev, and Daniil But, will likely have trouble coming to North America given the current political climate in Russia, and the way things are trending, they may never touch North American ice.

This is especially unfortunate for Michkov, who has received wide praise for his record breaking year in the KHL, and has drawn comparisons to Alex Ovechkin. With all the uncertainty surrounding Russian players, they're likely to fall in draft position in the upcoming draft. This is an unfortunate reality of the Russian government's iron fist, but hopefully tensions will ease so these talented youngsters can play NHL hockey.

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May 2   |   352 answers
Uncertainty Surrounding Russian Players After Worrying Change of Events

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