It’s leaked from some European scouts including Teemu (euroFlyers on twitter) that the Flyers have signed Russian goalie prospect Sergei Bobrovsky to a contract. The terms were undisclosed but it’s been confirmed that Bobrovsky will come over to participate in Flyers training camp, come the fall. I thought his name sounded familiar to me and after a quick google search I remembered why. Oddly enough, I have actually seen the kid play a couple of times on the NHL Network for Team Russia. First in the Super Series versus Canada and ihen n the World Juniors in 2008, when he was Russia’s best goaltender outperforming Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov to earn a bronze medal.
My fiance thought I was nuts for watching those games “Do the Flyers ever even get anyone who is Russian besides the ugly dude? (referring to Danny Markov who she remembers fondly from 2004)” well I finally got to use some of that useless knowledge I acquired from being just about the only guy in the states watching junior hockey.
Here’s a scouting report from the good people at hockeysfuture.com.
Sergei Bobrovsky is a product of the HC Metallurg (Novokuznetsk) hockey system. He has been the starting goalie for his age groupâ’s club team throughout his career and has really come on strong as a starting goalie for the regional HC Sibir team.
2006-07: While one of hte top Siberian goalies, Bobrvosky really came on the scene as a promising proispect during the 2006-07 season when he made his Super League debut and performed well in the backup role for HC Metallurg (Nk.). This achievement made the national team coaching staff take notice.
2007-08: During the 2007-08 season the young prospect was invited to join Russia’s U20 team that competed in the Super Series against the Canadian teams . There, Bobrovsky was clearly Russiaâ’s best goalie, performing better than Semen Varlamov or Sergei Gaiduchenko. This and his strong play in the Russian Super League further elevated the netminder and similarly to Konstantin Barulin a few years ealrier, he capped off his ascention by earning the starting position for Team Russia at the U20 World Junior Championships. There Bobrovsky, while in some ways not playing as well as he did int he Super Series, still performed quite well, helping Russia earn the bronze medals.
Bobrovsky is a hybrid goalie who prefers more of a butterfly down lower style than stand-up. The young netminder has above average reaction time and a slightly above average glove side. He has good lateral quickness in the crease, Bobrovsky has impressive quickness and he needs it since he does not take up as much of a net as even his U20 Team Russia teammate Gaiduchenko. The young goalie also tends to skate out far to challenge opponents, though he didnâ’t do this as much outside of Russian hockey when competing internationally. An average puckhandler, Bobrovsky rarely plays the puck outside the crease and tends to make safer and more conservative decisions with it. Another area that the young netminder does need to work on is his rebounding, as he tends to give up a lot of them and some dangerously close in front of him. It is impressive that he is capable of blocking some very difficult first shots, but he does himself and his team a disservice by leaving the rebound and allowing the opposing team second and third chances at the puck. Still, his competitiveness and ability to stop the first shot have been key to his success thus far in his career and he can learn proper rebound control if given more coaching opportunities. Maturity wise, the young 88 born netminder is probably one of the most mature young netminders currently playing in Russia. He took on a lot of responsibility last year and even though handled it very well, especially when backstopping Russia to the bronze medal at the U20 World Junior Championships. His ability to remain composed in difficult situations and remain competitive has been key to his success.
He is instantly our best goaltending prospect. The only guy who is anywhere near him in terms of potential is our Swedish kid Joacim”Sunshine” Eriksson who I also look forward to seeing in camp.