Flyers goaltending prospect Ivan Fedotov has reportedly been picked up by Russian law enforcement after allegedly attempting to evade military service that is required of all men in his home country.
On Tuesday, Fedotov’s agent, J.P. Barry, said that Fedotov being held at a remote Northern Russian military base, according to CBS Philly. This comes just weeks after Fedotov revealed that he would be competing for a roster spot with the Flyers next season. Fedotov had been playing in the KHL for CSKA Moscow since May 2021. CSKA Moscow’s name translates to “Central Sports Club of the Army” and has ties to the Russian military.
Fedotov was originally selected in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Flyers. The 25-year-old netminder served as Russia’s starting goalie in the 2022 Beijing Olympics and helped lead his country to a silver medal. In addition, Fedotov also helped CSKA Moscow win the Gagarin Cup, which is awarded to the annual KHL champion.
The NHL and KHL currently don’t have a transfer agreement for Russian players, which is why Fedotov was able to sign an entry-level contract with the Flyers in May.
While Barry said the goaltender is being held at a military base in Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry has yet to publicly comment as to the whereabouts of Fedotov. However, on Monday, Russian newspaper Sports Express published photographs that showed Fedotov at a Russian military base in Severodyinsky, which is a naval city on Russia’s northern coast.
“We have a draft in line with the law, so any emotional commentaries would be utterly inappropriate,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said when asked about Fedotov on Monday. “There are certain reasons for deferments and various ways of undergoing military service for athletes.”
Russian athletes can often avoid or delay being drafted to serve in the military due to medical or educational exemptions. The Russian military also has special units that elite-level athletes can serve in while continuing to compete in their respective sports.
“We’re aware of the reports and are investigating the situation,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher recently said in a statement. “We have no further comment at this time.”