Ivan Fedotov at a remote military base in northern Russia, according to the agent of a Philadelphia Flyers goaltender prospect

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender prospect Ivan Fedotov, who was reportedly arrested by law enforcement in Russia last week ahead of a planned move to the United States, is now at a remote military base in northern Russia, his agent said Tuesday.

The agent, JP Barry, spoke to The Associated Press amid speculation about Fedotov’s well-being. The situation has raised new concerns about whether Russian players will want or be able to join the NHL teams drafting them this week as the war in Ukraine continues.

Fedotov, 25, is considered one of the best goaltenders in the world outside of the NHL, and the Flyers expected him to compete for a spot on their roster next season. He won silver as the Russians’ starting goaltender at the Beijing Olympics in February and led CSKA Moscow to the Gagarin Cup as KHL champions.

He was a Flyers seventh-round pick in 2015 but has since played in Russia, with CSKA retaining his rights. The NHL and KHL don’t have player transfer deals, and Fedotov was eligible to sign with Philadelphia in May only because he didn’t have an existing contract in Russia for next season.

CSKA, whose name translates to “Central Army Sports Club”, was founded in 1946 as the Soviet Army’s hockey team and still has traditional ties to the military.

The first sign that something had gone wrong for Fedotov came on Friday. Russian media said he was arrested by law enforcement outside a hockey rink in his hometown of Saint Petersburg, where he was filming a documentary with a television crew, and taken to a detention center. military enlistment. Local news site Fontanka reported that he was suspected of having evaded compulsory military service demanded of Russian men.

Alexei Ponomaryov, a lawyer representing Fedotov, told Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Saturday that Fedotov had been taken to a military hospital with what appeared to be stress-induced gastritis. Ponomaryov said he and Fedotov’s relatives were not allowed to visit him.

The Russian Defense Ministry did not comment on Fedotov’s whereabouts. Russian newspaper Sport Express published what it said were photographs on Monday showing Fedotov at a military base in Severodvinsk, a naval town with shipyards on Russia’s northern coast, although there were reports contradictory about exactly where he is.

“We have a lawful project, so any emotional comments would be totally inappropriate,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday when asked about Fedotov’s case. “There are certain reasons for deferments and various ways of performing military service for athletes.”

Russia aimed to enlist more than 130,000 men for one year of military service this spring. The law allows 21 months of alternative civilian service in facilities like hospitals for those who object to military service, but requests can often be ignored. In theory, Russian men can be drafted between the ages of 18 and 27, although some never serve at all.

Russians often seek to avoid or delay drafting with medical or educational exemptions, and athletes are no different. Some manage to enroll in universities for year-long distance learning programs while pursuing their athletic careers.

The military also has special units for elite athletes who can continue to compete while serving. The Ministry of Defense boasted of many athletes with military ranks who competed in recent Olympics in sports ranging from judo to skiing.

NHL and Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said the team is aware and investigating. Just last week, Fletcher said he expects Fedotov to compete for a spot on the roster next season.

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