Flyers’ Kolosov and Zavragin impress overseas

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
2023 NHL Entry Draft
NHL hockey teams participate in the second day of the draft Thursday, June 29, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)
(AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Despite recent news involving Carter Hart, the Philadelphia Flyers (25-19-6) goaltending pipeline within the organization remains strong after taking a hit.

Sam Ersson is the de facto starting goaltender. He impressed this season but will carry a heavy load from now until the end of the season. Cal Petersen is the backup, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if Felix Sandstrom earned a last look down the stretch.

Carson Bjarnason is stable with the Brandon Wheat Kings, but the headlining goaltending prospects come from overseas, notably in Russia.

Alexei Kolosov

Alexei Kolosov, 22, is in his fourth KHL season with Dinamo Minsk. He debuted when he was 18 and became the starting goaltender the following season. In 40 games this season, Kolosov is 18-18-0 with a 90.7%SV and 2.55GAA, including four shutouts.

In 2021, the Flyers selected Kolosov 78th overall (third-round) in the NHL Entry Draft, and he signed his entry-level contract in July 2023. Kolosov posted respectable regular season numbers throughout his career in the KHL, but he struggles in the postseason. In 10 playoff games, he is 1-6-0 with an 89.5%SV and a 3.56GAA. The lack of success in the playoffs isn’t a cause for concern regarding the height of his potential.

He receives elite NHL comparisons to Ilya Sorokin, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Igor Shesterkin. He has the skill to be a starting goaltender in the NHL, maybe elite. Since being drafted, he moved up the depth chart, bringing a high-end skillset to the crease.

One of the first decisions by Daniel Briere as the general manager in Philadelphia involved signing Kolosov. He is inching closer to a debut in North America, likely with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to adjust.

Yegor Zavragin

Most recently, Yegor Zavragin was selected 87th (third-round) at the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers were high on Zavragin, a no-brainer with his name available on the draft board.

“Zavragin was there. We rated him way high. It was just a no-brainer to take him at that point. Kimmy [Dillabaugh] was really high on him. It’s just value at that point.”

Brent Flahr; 6/29/2023

Zavragin is flat-out dominant in the VHL with Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk. In 15 games, he is 12-0-0 with a 94.4%SV and 1.54GAA, on pace to break a VHL record if he can push that undefeated streak to 16. He also spent time in the MHL with Mamonty Yugry, posting a 6-1-2 record with a 94.5%SV and 1.63GAA.

In Russia, Zavragin was always stellar. He went 20-4-2 in 2021-2022 with Mamonty Yugry, then 11-6-1 last season. Zavragin, 18, will develop more overseas, similar to most Russian NHL goaltenders who develop at home.

Compared to Kolosov, Zavragin is a little bigger. His next step will be graduating from the MHL to the KHL, where he can develop similarly to Kolosov. Time tells all, but it looks like Chuck Fletcher might’ve hit a potential home run with Kolosov before he was relieved by Briere, who found Zavragin.

(AP Photo/George Walker IV)