Diving into the Flyers prospect pool: How are the KHL Skaters doing?

With the NHL season still someway down the line, we thought it would be a great opportunity to take a look at how Flyers prospects are performing in their respected leagues right now. After 2020 draft pick Elliot Desnoyers absolutely ripped it up and scored 4 goals in 1 game, I figured it was time to take a virtual trip across the globe and check in with each prospect.

We begin our tour in Russia’s KHL.

Mikhail Vorobyov

Position: C
Age: 23
Drafted in 2015: Round 4

Vorobyov has spent some time with the Flyers over the last two seasons, appearing in 15 games in 2018 and making just one showing last year. he has spent most of his duration in the US with Lehigh Valley, he amassed 28 points in 45 games last year.

With the Flyers bolstering their center position through the draft, time is ticking on Vorobyov to really show he can crack the bigs permanently before being lost in the shuffle to some highly drafted talent. It’s safe to say he’s responded well.

Vorobyov played in the KHL in 2016-17, amassing just 11 points in 44 games, an improvement from his 3 point season across 28 games one year before. Upon his return to his old stomping ground, it’s taken a little time to settle back in.

Through 20 games, he already has 9 points (4G, 5A). Most recently, he posted his best faceoff percentage in nearly a month, winning 71.4% against Sochi, despite only seeing 12 minutes of ice time.

His Ice time has seemingly dropped over the last few games, From September 15th to October 12th, it never dipped below 15 minutes. However, he did go 6 games without a point in that span before scoring in 3 of his next 4, so this change is interesting.

Shooting has been something lacking in his game, consistency wise.with accuracy and attempts both down. He ranks 7th on the team in points and in the 3 games he’s scored over the past month, he’s only combined for 8 total shots, which is about as high as his output goes (between 1-3 shots per game), but the last two games he played, he failed to get a shot off. He ranks 10th on the team in shots per game.

It will be very intriguing to see how he gets on over the next few weeks and whether or not he can heat up as the season goes on, but a decline in ice time isn’t a promising sign for the player contracted through 2023.

German Rubtsov

Position: C
Age: 22
Drafted in 2016: Round
1

Rubtsov is a name that fans have been paying close attention to in recent years and with good reason. As a former 22nd overall pick who suffered a heartbreaking injury in 2018, expectations turned into speculation. He appeared in 4 games for the Flyers last year but is yet to log the first point of his NHL career. The left-handed center only took one shot in that span, which was in his first game against the New Jersey Devils. He also logged the most time on the ice that game, playing eight minutes. Rubtsov has shown some good progress in faceoffs at the NHL level.

After a quiet season in Lehigh Valley partnered this, there was some reasonable concern regarding his overall development. He joined HK Sochi on loan and so far has 2 points in 13 games.

Averaging close to 14 minutes of ice-time, he recently played 18:56 in Sochi’s 5-2 win over Vityaz before dipping back down to 14 minutes against Sochi. He currently ranks 10th on the team in shot attempts, but his faceoff usage continues to improve. He’s won 56/154, but sits fourth on the team in that metric.

Rubtsov hasn’t registered a point since September 29th and his faceoff win percentage has been below 33% in 4 of his last 5 games.

It’s safe to say that it’s not just Flyers fans expecting more from the former first-round pick at this stage.

Maxim Sushko

Position: RW
Age: 21
Drafted in 2017: Round
4

Sushko is playing for Dinamo Minsk this season. It’s his first year in the KHL after putting up 21 points in 51 games for the Phantoms last year. He has 1 point in 10 appearances for Minsk, averaging 12:36 of ice time and racking up 17 hits in the process, highlighting his physical play.

What’s interesting is that Sushko ranks 9th in Minsk’s shots on goal % with 14.3%, despite ranking 16th in shots and playing in 12 minutes per game. With a higher percentage of pucks on net, don’t be surprised to see Sushko’s name pop up on the scoresheet more frequently.

Ivan Fedotov

Position: G
Age: 23
Drafted in 2015: Round
7

A forgotten name when discussing Flyers goalies, Fedotov is yet to make his debut for the Flyers or Phantoms but has frequented the KHL, amassing at least a .910 save percentage every season since 2015-16.

He allowed 2.10 goals per game last year in 32 appearances for Traktor  Chelyabinsk but appears to have taken a backseat to Will Roman. Fedotov has played in 6 games so far this year, going 3-2-1, amassing a .938 save percentage and allowing 1.83 goals per game.

Fedotov has faced at least 28 shots in each of his last 3 games and put up at least a .930 save percentage in each, with his last start being a 4-2 win on October 23rd over Amur.

It’ll be worth keeping an eye on Fedotov, who is near enough matching Roman stride for stride stat wise. If anything changes over the next 10 game, we could see a lot more of him.

Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre

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