Average-sized goalie who lacks pedigree but has been one of the best goalies in the KHL as a 20-year-old which is hard to ignore.
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October 2020 – Despite a strong finish the season, last year could be considered a “down” year for the young Russian netminder. This season, on the other hand, has been excellent for Konovalov. In seven games to date, Konovalov has recorded an impressive 2.18 goals-against average and .930 save percentage which better reflects his abilities than his results last year as these numbers are similar to the results he has had throughout his career. It is not uncommon for goalies to put up strong numbers in the KHL but as a prospect that does not get a lot of hype or discussion, the Russian is an obvious sleeper for the Oilers. Konovalov has the potential to make a big impact in the AHL and possibly even the NHL once he comes over to North America. Jameson Ewasiuk
March 2020 – Konovalov’s season so far has been unspectacular but trending in the right direction. After a slow start to the year in which he briefly lost the starting job with Lokomotiv, the young Russian appears to be back on track as he has won five of his last seven games while recording a 1.73 goals-against average and an impressive .940 save percentage. On the team season, Konovalov has recorded a 2.45 goals-against average (25th in the league) and 0.912 save percentage (30th). The Russian net minder still has another year left on his contract with Lokomotiv and will then likely challenge for the starting job on the Bakersfield Condors of the AHL. Jameson Ewasiuk
June 2019 – This is an intriguing pick for the Oilers. With the 85th pick in the 2019 draft Edmonton opted to select Konolov, a Russian goalie who was first draft-eligible in 2016 but was passed over three years in a row before being selected by Edmonton. With that all being said, the young Russian net minder was ranked fourth for European goalies by NHL Central Scouting and completely blew the doors off of the KHL as a 20 year old this past season. In 45 games with Lokomotiv last season, Konovalov recorded an impressive 1.89 GAA to go along with his 0.930 SV%. His play earned him the KHL rookie of the year award which hasn’t been won by a goalie since Andrei Vasilevsky won it in 2014. Konovalov’s numbers aren’t completely surprising considering he’s put up strong stats at every level that he’s played at but likely didn’t garner enough attention sooner due to bouncing around to different leagues the past couple seasons. At six feet tall, he doesn’t have the size that most NHL teams covet in a goalie but his performance this season undeniable. Konovalov has two years left on his current contract in the KHL. Jameson Ewasiuk
June 2019 – Konovalov has been drafted 85th overall by the Oilers. Jokke Nevalainen
May 2019 – Konovalov has won the Rookie of the Year award in the KHL after a strong season where he posted 0.930 save percentage in 45 games for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. He has two more years left on his KHL contract, and he might be NHL ready by the time that contract expires. Jokke Nevalainen
February 2019 – Konovalov has been passed over in the NHL Draft three times already but this season, as a 20-year-old, he’s been one of the best goalies in the KHL, and he’s still eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft for the final time before becoming a free agent. He doesn’t have the type of size teams are usually looking for in goalies but he’s quick and agile, isn’t afraid to leave the blue paint to challenge attackers, and he has a good glove as well. His situation is a bit similar to Veini Vehviläinen’s, another average-sized goalie who was also passed over thrice but finally got drafted after proving himself at the pro level. Konovalov will likely get drafted late in the draft, the same way Vehviläinen did, but if he has another strong season in the KHL, his stock will be rising very quickly. Don’t sleep on this guy. Jokke Nevalainen