The Carolina Hurricanes are in the middle of a six-game road trip, having just won the first three of the games.
In an impressive fashion, the Hurricanes defeated the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 4-2.
More impressive has been the play of 23-year-old Russian goalkeeper, Pyotr Kochetkov. Kochetkov made 31 saves to secure the victory for the Hurricanes. His fifth victory of the year.
The rookie was called up after Frederik Andersen was injured almost a month ago.
Called up to help the backup goalie, Antti Raanta, from carrying too heavy a load, Kochetkov has seemingly taken the starting position over together.
Having played most of the starts since jumping onto the scene, Kochetkov has won over the confidence of his teammates and more importantly head coach, Rod Brind’Amour.
Last season the tandem of Andersen and Raanta was outstanding and a huge reason for all the success accomplished before being knocked out of the playoffs by the New York Rangers.
Despite such success, both Andersen and Raanta enter the season without contracts.
Recently, Kocketkov and general manager, Don Waddell, came to an agreement on a new contract to keep the second-round draft pick in Carolina for at least another four years.
The defeat of the Kings capped off the impressive start with 5 wins and 1 shutout. Kochetkov has 2.27 goals against and a stellar .919 save percentage.
Kochetkov has had success in the AHL with the Chicago Wolves as well.
Last year, Kochetkov played in 15 regular season games for the Wolves and won 13 with a solid 2.09 goals against average.
The confidence that Kochetkov displays in himself is contagious to the rest of the group and it is evident that the team is comfortable and can play their game.
Despite such little time in the NHL, Kochetkov has had much success and provided the steadiness of a 5-year veteran. Additionally, he has a knack for the flare making some incredible highlight-reel saves.
The combination of all these factors has given way to the discussion that Kocketkov has earned the number one spot in the net for the Hurricanes.
Time will tell with health and performance but right now it appears that Kochetkov is not just the goalie of the future but the present.