NHL prospect taken into custody in Russia for military service evasion

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Philadelphia Flyers avenue Ivan Fedotov was taken into custody by Russian authorities on Friday on suspicion that he planned to evade military service, Russian media reported.

Fedotov, who represented the Russian Olympic Committee at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, was taken into custody officers of the criminal investigation department at the ice arena in Kupchino and taken to the military registration and enlistment office, according to the Russian newspaper Fontanka.

Ivan Fedotov of the ROC team blocks a shot in the first period of the men's ice hockey gold medal match between Finland and ROC on the 16th day of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing at the National Indoor Stadium.  October 20, 2022 in Beijing, China.

Ivan Fedotov of the ROC team blocks a shot in the first period of the men’s ice hockey gold medal match between Finland and ROC on the 16th day of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing at the National Indoor Stadium. October 20, 2022 in Beijing, China.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

Fedotov signed entry-level annual contract with the Flyers in May after one season with CSKA in which he won the second title in franchise history.

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

CSKA player Ivan Fedotov in the 2021/22 Kontinental Hockey League Gagarin Cup match between SKA (St. Petersburg) and CSKA (Moscow) at the Ice Palace of Sports.

CSKA player Ivan Fedotov in the 2021/22 Kontinental Hockey League Gagarin Cup match between SKA (St. Petersburg) and CSKA (Moscow) at the Ice Palace of Sports.
(Maxim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Russian News Agency Fontanka citing the military prosecutor’s office, which believes that there are sufficient grounds to bring the player to criminal liability as “dodging the army.”

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Fedotov could face up to two years in prison if he is charged and found guilty.

Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher released a statement on Friday after Fedotov’s arrest became known.

ROC goalie Ivan Fedotov reacts as he leaves the field after beating Denmark 3-1 in the men's ice hockey quarterfinal match between ROC and Denmark on Day 12 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Ukesong Sports Centre.  February 16, 2022 in Beijing, China.

ROC goalie Ivan Fedotov reacts as he leaves the field after beating Denmark 3-1 in the men’s ice hockey quarterfinal match between ROC and Denmark on Day 12 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Ukesong Sports Centre. February 16, 2022 in Beijing, China.
(Elsa/Getty Images)

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

Fedotov was taken into custody on the same day that the trial of WNBA star Britney Griner began. She is faces up to 10 years in prison if tried for drug smuggling