The Carolina Hurricanes announced Monday that goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov has been reassigned to the team’s AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves. Kochetkov has a 10-4-5 record, 2.33 GAA and a .913 save percentage in his rookie campaign. Although Kochetkov has lost his last 4 starts for Carolina, let’s look deeper into why the team sent him back to Chicago.
With a healthy Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta, it just doesn’t make sense to have Kochetkov on the NHL roster. There is no way 3 goalies can effectively practice or split games. Having 3 goalies would cause concern when it comes to rust and getting guys in a rhythm.
Raanta has been steady all season and found ways to win games, while it looks like Andersen might be returning to his old self.
Kochetkov is the easy odd man out because he can clear waivers and be sent back and forth if needed.
Kochetkov is just 23 years old and although he does look like he is NHL-ready, he still needs to be playing frequently.
In Chicago, the 23-year-old will stay busy and start the majority of the games for the Wolves. When it comes to schedules the Hurricanes have just 5 games over the next 2 weeks whereas the Wolves have 7, including 3 back to backs.
I would expect Kochetkov to play in 2 of the 3 games the Wolves play this week. The starts he gets in Chicago should allow him to get back into the flow of things so that he can be relied upon if the Canes need him again this season.
Now with Pyotr down in Chicago, this allows for Andersen and Raanta to re-emerge in between the pipes. The Canes have clear one and two goalie duo like the previous seasons.
I would not count out a Pyotr Kochetkov return this season or in the post-season given the history the team has with injuries.
One thing that is for sure is the team has found its goalie of the future in Kochetkov and locked him down for the next 4 years.