Report: Dmitri Samorukov could face military service similar to Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov

Photo credit:Edmonton Oilers
Cam Lewis
11 months ago
Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov is currently serving at a remote military base in Northern Russia and other CSKA players, including Edmonton Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov, could wind up in a similar situation.
Fedotov was drafted by the Flyers in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Draft but has spent his entire career in the KHL. In 2021-22, he posted a 0.919 save percentage for CSKA Moscow and led Russia to a silver medal at the Olympics in Beijing in February.
Fedotov’s excellent season earned him a one-year, entry-level contract with the Flyers and the plan was for him to split the net with Carter Hart for the 2022-23 season and potentially beyond. But a few weeks after signing the contract with the Flyers, Fedotov was picked up by Russian law enforcement while shooting a documentary in his home city of St. Petersburg and was taken to a military enlistment center.
According to The Insider, a Russian news outlet, Fedotov has since been sent to serve in the army at Novaya Zemlya, a remote military base near the Arctic Ocean. The report also says that other CSKA players who have left Russia to play in the NHL could wind up in the same situation…
“The Army (CSKA) owns the rights to many young players who are now playing abroad. If they don’t officially resolve the issue with the military enlistment office, then such players as Egor Afanasyev, Artem Grushnikov, Ilya Sorokin, Denis Guryanov, and Dmitry Samorukov could face the same problems that Ivan Fedotov did.”
Samorukov came overseas to play in the OHL in 2016-17 and played five seasons in North America before returning to Russia in 2020-21 to play for CSKA Moscow while hockey in Canada and the United States was paused due to COVID-19.
Samorukov returned to North America in 2021-22 and made his NHL debut in December. He was in the final year of his entry-level contract last season and signed a one-year extension with the Oilers in March.
Slava Malamud, a Russian reporter based in the United States, suggested that this was arranged by CSKA owner Igor Sechin, a close friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin, as a punishment for those who wanted to leave the KHL.
This situation highlights a growing anxiety in the NHL about the Russian factor as the country’s war with Ukraine rages on. Michael Russo and Dan Robson reported in The Athletic last week that teams are suggesting to Russian players not to go to their home country during the offseason due to the risk that they might not be able to return to Canada or the United States.
Back in March, a law was passed that makes public actions aimed at “discrediting” Russia’s army illegal, and bans the spread of fake news, or the “public dissemination of deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.” Putin also delivered a warning to Russian Russian “traitors” and “scum” living in the West…
“Any people, and especially the Russian people, will always be able to distinguish the true patriots from the scum and the traitors, and just to spit them out like a midge that accidentally flew into their mouths.”

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