NHL prospect taken into Russian custody for allegedly evading military service

Fedotov, who represented the Russian Olympic Committee in the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, was taken into custody by members of Russia’s criminal investigation department outside an ice rink in Kupchino and taken to a military registration and enlistment office, according to Russian news outlet Fontanka. 

Ivan Fedotov of Team ROC blocks a shot in the first period during the men's ice hockey gold medal match between Team Finland and Team ROC on Day 16 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Indoor Stadium Feb. 20, 2022, in Beijing, China. 

Ivan Fedotov of Team ROC blocks a shot in the first period during the men’s ice hockey gold medal match between Team Finland and Team ROC on Day 16 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at National Indoor Stadium Feb. 20, 2022, in Beijing, China.  (Elsa/ Getty Images)

Fedotov signed a one-year entry-level contract with the Flyers in May following one season with CSKA Moscow, which he led to a second title in franchise history. 

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According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Russian team’s close ties with the Russian military and government mean that his departure to the NHL could be interpreted as a violation of Russian law, as members of the team are considered official military personnel. 

CSKA Hockey Club player Ivan Fedotov in action during the Kontinental Hockey League's Gagarin Cup 2021-22 between SKA Saint Petersburg and CSKA Moscow at the Ice Sports Palace.

CSKA Hockey Club player Ivan Fedotov in action during the Kontinental Hockey League’s Gagarin Cup 2021-22 between SKA Saint Petersburg and CSKA Moscow at the Ice Sports Palace. (Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Russian news outlet Fontanka cited the military prosecutor’s office as saying it believes there are enough grounds to prosecute the player as an “army evader.”  

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Fedotov could face up to two years in prison if charged and convicted. 

Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher released a statement on Friday after news of Fedotov’s detainment broke. 

Goalie Ivan Fedotov of Team ROC reacts while leaving the rink after defeating Team Denmark 3-1 in a men’s ice hockey quarterfinal match between Team ROC and Team Denmark on Day 12 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Wukesong Sports Centre Feb. 16, 2022, in Beijing, China. 

Goalie Ivan Fedotov of Team ROC reacts while leaving the rink after defeating Team Denmark 3-1 in a men’s ice hockey quarterfinal match between Team ROC and Team Denmark on Day 12 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games at Wukesong Sports Centre Feb. 16, 2022, in Beijing, China.  (Elsa/Getty Images)

 

“We’re aware of the reports and are investigating the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” Fletcher said.

Fedotov was taken into custody the same day the trial for WNBA star Brittney Griner began. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of drug smuggling charges

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