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Photo Credit: sportsnet.ca

The Red Wings Should Draft Pyotr Kochetkov

The Detroit Red Wings have a ton of goaltender depth, but they could always use more.

In last year’s draft, Ken Holland and the Red Wings front office did an excellent job in loading up their farm system. In the top rounds, the Red Wings selected quite a bit of offensive and defensive talent as they added Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Jonatan Berggren and Jared McIssac. In the mid-rounds, they added some goaltender depth as they drafted Jesper Eliasson and Victor Brattstrom.

So far this season, Eliasson has looked solid with the Vaxjo Lakers HC J20 in the SuperElite league. In 25 appearances, he owns a 2.31 GAA and a .923 SV%. On the other hand, Brattstrom has had a rough season. After 13 games played, he’s put an abysmal 3.08 GAA and a .885 SV% with Timra IK of the Swedish Hockey League.

In the 2017 draft, they also selected a goaltender. The Red Wings drafted Wilbraham, Massachusetts native Keith Petruzelli. Petruzelli’s 2016-2017 campaign with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the USHL caught the eye of Red Wings scouts. In 35 games played with the Lumberjacks, he posted a 2.40 GAA and a .918 SV%. After his solid season in Muskegon, he decided to play college hockey at Quinnipiac University. Unfortunately his first season in Hamden, Connecticut was a rough one, but this season he’s rebounded. At this moment, he owns a 2.32 GAA and a .908 SV%. The only issue is that Quinnipiac has another stud in net. The other goaltender, Andrew Shortridge has been phenomenal in net and has been taking time away from Petruzelli.

At this year’s World Juniors in Vancouver and Victoria, Russian goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov made a name for himself. He appeared in five games for the Russian squad and was one of the best goaltenders to play in the tournament. He posted an outstanding GAA of 1.45 and a .953 SV%. Kochetkov’s GAA and SV% were better than Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy’s numbers when he played in the tournament.

In the below videos/GIFs, you can check out some of his top saves from the World Junior tournament. In the first video, you’ll see him shut down a Slovakian scoring chance by throwing his stick towards the puck and shutting down an outstanding scoring chance. The second video shows Kochetkov making one pad save and then shutting down a rebound attempt with another pad save. As you can see, Kochetkov was spectacular in net and could be a true dynamo in the NHL one day.

Aside from his performance at the World Juniors, he’s been outstanding this season in the VHL (Supreme Hockey League). In 15 appearances with the HK Ryazan, he’s put up a 2.01 GAA and a .935 SV%. He’s also played a couple of games at the KHL level with HK Sochi, but his numbers weren’t as great. In 2 games in Sochi, he posted a 2.57 GAA and a .911 SV%. But, I wouldn’t read too much into his performance in the KHL. It’s only two appearances and it’s hard to judge a player after 120 minutes of game-play.

If I was in Holland’s shoes, I would have Kochetkov on my draft board. He could be a real threat one day in the NHL. While the Red Wings do have a lot of goaltender depth, it’s hard to speculate how those prospects will shake out. So, it’s worth giving Kochetkov a chance and perhaps he could be even better than former Red Wing, Dominik Hasek.

stats from eliteprospects.com