We’ve seen the four goal games. We’ve seen the amazing start to the QMJHL season that Elliot Desnoyers is having currently. Second in goals (11,) tied for tenth in assists (9,) and third overall in points (21,) the Flyers fifth round pick is turning heads early on. Given the glowing scouting report given from EliteProspects, it’s incredibly encouraging to see Desnoyers playing this well.
He’s so much better off of the puck than he is on it. If you want a player who will selflessly run head-first through a brick wall if that’s what’s necessary for his linemates to succeed, then look no further than Desnoyers. He plays an honest brand of hockey in the defensive zone and never flees a moment sooner than his team has secured the puck.EliteProspects 2020 NHL Draft Guide
While Desnoyers has ultimately reaped the rewards of his own play, linemate Zachary L’Heureux sits in the top-20 of the QMJHL in scoring as well with six goals and six assists. The Halifax Mooseheads are currently tied for third in the QMJHL with the Cape Breton Eagles at 12 points, trailing only the Acadie-Bathurst Titans (four points) and Charlotteville Islanders (six points.)
While Desnoyers is dominating headlines, there’s another Flyers prospect that is staking his claim for flavor of the month right now.
That’s right folks, there’s more than just one Flyers prospect that deserves a little attention here. Ivan Fedotov, a seventh rounder in 2015, is making his case for most impressive Flyers prospect early on.
Fedotov has played in eight games for Traktor Chelyabinsk, posting a 5-2-1 record. His save percentage stands at .943 and his goals against average sits at 1.61. He has the second best GAA among goalies who have played less than 10 games. In that same category, he has the third best save percentage. Including all goaltenders, he’s tied for the fifth best save percentage and has the fourth best goals against average. The best part is, he’s getting better as the season rolls along.
His current stat line is great, but took a little hit at the beginning of the season. However, his last five games have shown not just a vast improvement, but a goalie that is capable of backstopping his team to victory night in and night out. Over the last five games, Fedotov is a perfect 5-0-0. He’s stopped 135 of 143 shots for a .944 save percentage and a 1.56 goals against average. Included in that sample size are his last three games, which saw him stop 79 of 83 shots for a .952 save percentage and a 1.31 goals against average. In those games, he was also a perfect 3-0-0.
Goals are flashy and will get most of the attention. However, you can’t deny that Fedotov is having a stellar start to his most recent campaign. While Desnoyers continues to light the lamp in the QMJHL, Fedotov keeps preventing his counterparts from doing so, and at a high rate.
Why So Little Attention?
One could argue that Ivan Fedotov is a victim of the Hart effect. Now that our highest-tier goalie prospect has arrived and staked his claim as the starter, the spotlight shines a little less bright on the other goalie prospects. That shouldn’t take away from the fact that guys like Fedotov and Ersson are still high-quality players who could find themselves in North American sooner rather than later. Their path, however, could be difficult.
Another reason why people may be glancing over Fedotov is the fact that the Flyers organization has goalie prospects out the wazoo. Felix Sandstrom and Kirill Ustimenko are already playing in the ECHL and AHL, respectively, with Ustimenko playing very well. With Ersson scheduled to make the jump potentially next offseason, Fedotov’s path to North America encounters another potential obstacle. While a jump to the states would be great, Fedotov has the ability to stay in Russia while still under the Flyers control until he comes to play in the NHL/AHL/ECHL.
Fedotov may bide his time until the Flyers have a spot open up in the crease. It would benefit him to do so. The fact that the Flyers control his rights no matter how long he stays in the KHL is encouraging as well. If his stock improves, the Flyers may have no choice but to make room for the 23 year-old.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre