The Carolina Hurricanes’ goalie of the future, Pyotr Kochetkov, is shining bright in the KHL.
Pyotr Kochetkov was selected in the 2nd Round, 36th overall, by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has shown quite a bit of promise while playing in both the KHL and the VHL (where he was stealing starts from future phenom Yaroslav Askarov).
Pyotr Kochetkov has all the makings to be the Carolina Hurricanes’ goalie of the future. The 20 year-old Kazan, Russia native is developing incredibly nicely in the KHL, and could prove to be quite the contender for a starting netminder job in the NHL in the coming years.
As of the writing of this article, Kochetkov boasted a .887% save percentage, alongside a 2.62 GAA in 6 games while playing with the premiere KHL powerhouse SKA St. Petersburg. Kochetkov was traded to HC Vityaz back in October (due to a 3-goalie logjam), where he has played 5 games, and has registered a 2.83 GAA alongside a .925 save percentage.
Kochetkov seems to be developing with a bit more stability since moving from SKA St. Petersburg to HC Vityaz. His save percentage has blossomed, and he has seemingly gained a significant amount of confidence while playing for a slightly-less-than-premiere club.
Before the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Kochetkov was widely touted as the best European goaltender available, and the second-best overall goaltender available at the draft, followed by Spencer Knight (selected 13th overall by the Florida Panthers).
Kochetkov first garnered international attention after his stellar outings in the IIHF World Junior U20 Hockey Championship, where he played 5 games and posted a .953% save percentage, and a 1.45 GAA. Kochetkov also made more than a few brilliantly flashy saves on a consistent basis to lead Russia to a bronze medal.
Kochetkov’s goaltending style has been referred to as ‘reminiscent of Braden Holtby‘, and he has been widely commended for his ability to remain calm, cool, and collected in the crease in any and all game situations. His desperation saves have also been recognized as some of the most precise and calculated; they rarely ever end up with the puck in the back of the net.
All in all, Kochetkov is easily one of the Carolina Hurricanes’ most exciting prospects. The last time the Hurricanes selected a goalie this early in the draft was when they drafted Cam Ward 25th Overall in the 1st Round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Comparing draft positions is akin to comparing apples to oranges, especially when it comes to goaltenders, but if Kochetkov can have even half the impact on the Carolina Hurricanes that Cam Ward did, we could be witnessing the rise of our next Franchise-level goaltender.
Only time will tell, and goalies take the longest to reach the NHL; it could be another 2-4 years before we see Kochetkov wearing a Hurricanes jersey full-time, but if he continues to develop on his current trajectory, the wait will be more than worth it.
Question for CC Readers: When do you think Pyotr Kochetkov could crack the Carolina Hurricanes’ roster full-time?