Connect with us

Flyers News

What to Make of Alexei Kolosov Rumors About Going Back to KHL

(Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Almost out of nowhere yesterday, a Belarusian twitter account dropped a bombshell that Philadelphia Flyers goaltending prospect, Alexei Kolosov, reportedly wanted to return to Dinamo Minsk in the KHL due to problems adapting to North America.

The article was originally written in Russian so the translation might be a little loose, however it was cited that the goaltender “has problem adapting to North America” and that Dinamo Minsk had not been in a rush to address their own goaltending vacancy because they were waiting on Kolosov.

Kolosov was drafted by the Flyers in the third round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and has spent the last 4 years with Dinamo Minsk in the KHL. In his draft year he posted a 2.69 GAA and a .911 SV% in 9 contests before getting full-time minutes the following year.

In 22 games in 2021-22, Kolosov posted a 2.90 GAA and .906 SV% before improving to the tune of a 2.55 GAA and .912 SV% in 42 contests in 2022-23. This past season, he was seen as a steady lifeline for a struggling Minsk club and propelled his team to the playoffs on the back of a 2.39 GAA and .907 SV% in 47 games.

He signed his entry-level contract with the Flyers in July of 2023 and then departed Belarus in March of this past season once his KHL season came to a close. He joined the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and played in 2 regular season games where he posted a 3.03 GAA and .885 SV%, and captured his first career victory in North America. The Phantoms were in the midst of a playoff push and with Kolosov coming in fresh, they did not want to put him into the fire so soon.

The article didn’t go in to grave details but it was mentioned that he “was never given a chance to play in the playoffs for the club through two rounds of the Calder Cup.” Once in the playoffs, Cal Petersen played in all 6 games for the Phantoms, where he posted a 3-3-0 record with a 2.70 GAA and .887 SV% with 1 shutout before being defeated by the Hershey Bears in the second round.

Having issues adapting to the North American game isn’t necessarily new for players coming from overseas leagues. The KHL plays a completely different style compared to the NHL and AHL, and it usually takes some time for even the best players to acclimate to the North American game. Kolosov is also just 22 years of age and has plenty of room to grow, however it was still a rather damning report, whether it was confirmed or not.

The Flyers were unaware about the report or any issues that Kolosov had about being in North America but with two years still remaining on his entry-level contract, Kolosov can’t just up and leave that easily. It was reported that the Flyers would do their best in convincing him to remain in North America with the goaltender feeling more homesick than anything else.

The Fourth Period’s Anthony Di Marco and The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz both confirmed that sources close to the Belarusian netminder stipulated that the reports were “just rumours” and denied the validity behind them.

Addressing the idea that Dinamo Minsk were waiting on Kolosov to make a decision before going after a goaltender, the club signed Andrei Karayev to a one-year deal, according to Hockey News Hub.

While it is just a rumour and it was seemingly squashed within 24 hours of being initially reported, if it were to be true, it would be a massive blow to the Flyers’ goaltending depth chart especially after what transpired this season with Carter Hart. Samuel Ersson and Ivan Fedotov look to take the reins in goal next season for the Flyers.

While they drafted promising prospects in Yegor Zavragin and Carson Bjarnason in last year’s draft, they’re still many years away from making an impact in the big leagues. Kolosov was almost looked upon as the bridge between the current NHL goaltenders and their younger prospects.

Fortunately, for now we can all exhale but it might be something to keep an eye on moving forward.

Flyers fan born in the heart of Leafs nation

More in Flyers News