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Prospect Update: Vyacheslav Buteyets
By Thomas Harrington
Anaheim’s sixth round pick from 2022, goaltender Vyacheslav Buteyets, played in the VHL in Russia this past season.
Buteyets played for the Chelmet Chelyabinsk. The VHL is Russia’s second tier hockey league, one step below the KHL. Overall, he played in 35 games and had a record of 18-12-4 with a 2.11 goals against average, a .933 save percentage, and three shutouts. That reflects a pretty significant improvement from his previous season, when he played in 11 VHL games and had a record of 6-2-2 with a 2.49 goals against average, .918 save percentage, and no shutouts. He was called up to the KHL at one point but didn’t see any playing time. He finished fifth in the VHL in save percentage and 10th in goals against average. He was Chelmet’s starter and didn’t get a night off until the 13th game of the season. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well in the playoffs, where Buteyets played in four games and had an 0-3 record, a 3.42 goals against average, and a .897 save percentage.
Buteyets will be back with the Chelmet Chelyabinsk this coming year. After a successful year, I have a few expectations for him. First, I want him to match, if not better, his numbers from a year ago. Buteyets put up some very good statistics; I’ll be happy if he can show it wasn’t just a one season flash in the pan. Second, for him to play better in the postseason and pick up some wins. Finally, to not just get called up to the KHL but make his KHL debut.
Buteyets will spend at least one more year in Russia before coming to North America. His contract is up next summer and the Ducks are hoping to bring him over when it is. When he does come stateside, he’ll most likely see time in San Diego before getting a chance in Anaheim. The Ducks have a lot of other young goaltenders, so there’s no reason to rush Buteyets. He could also stay in Russia and develop in the VHL and then eventually the KHL before coming to North America. If he develops into one of the best goaltenders in the KHL, then the Ducks could think about bringing him to Anaheim and bypassing San Diego entirely. Either way, I don’t think we’ll see him in an Anaheim uniform for at least three years.
Buteyets is currently unsigned. The NHL and KHL currently do not have a player transfer agreement, so Anaheim holds his rights indefinitely. NHL rights for prospects chosen from the KHL do not expire as they do for players chosen in the CHL, NCAA, or other European leagues. If he signs with Anaheim, it will be to a standard entry-level contract.
The next prospect update will be on forward Blake McLaughlin.
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July 22nd, 2023