Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2019 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Pyotr Kochetkov.
After being passed over in the 2017 and 2018 NHL Drafts, Pyotr Kochetkov has emerged as one of the best goalie prospects in the 2019 Draft. He had the opportunity two play against men, appearing in two games for HK Sochi in the KHL. Kochetkov spent most of the season with HK Ryazan in the VHL. He put up a 2.13 goals-against-average and .930 save percentage over 18 games. Kochetkov was even better in the playoffs, putting up a 1.61 goals-against-average and a .953 save percentage over three games. He transferred to the SKA St. Petersburg organization for next season
Kochetkov also performed well for Russia at the World Juniors, leading the team to a bronze medal. In five games, he put up a 1.45 goals-against-average and a .953 save percentage. He was named the top goaltender of the tournament as well as a top-three player on the Russian team. Kochetkov was also part of Russia’s team during the CIBC Canada/Russia Super Series. He put up an incredible 0.67 goals-against-average and .978 save percentage in three games. He helped the Russian team to their fourth ever win in the annual series.
Pyotr Kochetkov Scouting Report
Goalie — shoots Left — catches Left
Born June 25th, 1999 — Penza, Russia
Height 6’3.25″ — Weight 180 lbs [192 cm/82 kg]
Skating and Talent Analysis
At 6-foot-3, Kochetkov has great size. He makes the most of it by coming well out of his net to cut down angles and challenge shooters. He can even become too aggressive at times, getting caught out of his net and making it difficult for him to get side-to-side in the net. Kochetkov is athletic and can get himself back into position to make a desperation save. This is the rarity though. For the most part, Kochetkov plays a controlled game with strong technique. He has quick legs and takes away the bottom of the net. He also gets in and out of his butterfly extremely quickly.
Kochetkov’s quick reflexes are also an asset for the upper part of the net. European goaltenders often need some work on their glove hand when they are teenagers, taking some time to develop this area. However, Kochetkov has not had this issue, showing quickness and catching pucks. One other area where he can improve is in his rebound control. That said, this is often an issue with young goaltenders. Kochetkov tracks the puck extremely well. He reads the play and does a good job of anticipating passes around his crease and breaking them up with his stick.
Kochetkov is calm and cool in the net. He never seems to get flustered, even when under heavy pressure or when dealing with traffic near his crease. Kochetkov does not allow goals-against to affect his play. By the time the puck is ready to be dropped again, he has recovered and is ready to make the next save. He is not afraid to challenge opposing shooters and his cool demeanour exudes confidence in the crease. Kochetkov is a natural leader. His defencemen rely on him as a pillar of strength behind them. When his team is in trouble, Kochetkov works to cover up the puck for a whistle, understanding that a line change is necessary.
Projection and Comparison
Kochetkov is expected to spend at least one more season in Russia, before the decision one if he is ready to head to North America happens in the 2020 off-season. Even when he comes over, Kochetkov will need some time in the AHL in order to adjust to the smaller ice surface and the angles it creates. While goalies are hard to predict, the potential here is very high and he could become a number one goaltender if his development goes according to plan. Kochetkov’s style is reminiscent of Brayden Holtby. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on talent and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Pyotr Kochetkov that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
VANCOUVER, BC – JANUARY 5: Goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov #20 of Russia crouches in the crease against Switzerland during a bronze medal game at the IIHF World Junior Championships at Rogers Arena on January 5, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)