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Does Igor Bobkov = Best in the OHL?

by Phil Phillips

Who is the best goalie in the OHL?

Is it Malcolm Subban of the Belleville Bulls? When he has played his numbers say he is in the conversation, what about London Knights Star Michael Houser, Mark Visentin of the IceDogs, Scott Wedgewood or Matt Mahalak in Plymouth, maybe 67's Peter Mrazek. But on this day I'm not looking for just great numbers, I'm looking for which goalie is the best, based on what he means to his team. The search leads me to The K-Rock centre in Kingston Via Surgut Russia and Igor Bobkov. I was surprised he wasn't moved at the deadline to a team like Belleville. The Bulls have great goal tending when Subban is healthy, and John Chartrand and Charlie Graham have been very good in some games, But with injuries to Chartrand and a 16 year old goalie in Graham who has been good, but its just not fair to put the pressure on a kid who didn't even start the year in the OHL, to lead you in to the playoffs.

I think Chartrand for Bobkov straight up would have been a great deal for everyone, Bobkov comes and helps Belleville through the injuries and Chartrand gets to be a full time starter, he wont want to be 2nd banana next year. And I don’t feel he will be back anyways because next year Belleville goes with Subban and Graham.

But by not trading him shows just how important GM Doug Gilmour and Coach Todd Gill believe Bobkov is to the young team that Kingston has. Before coming to Kingston this year Igor already had an impressive resume, he was a Silver medal winner and goaltender of the tournament at the U18s in 2009. Bobkov was drafted that year by the Anaheim Ducks 76th over all. He was the fourth goalie taken in the 09 draft. The Ducks have signed him to an entry-level contract. He also came with a Gold medal from the 2011 WJC.

This year with the Fronts he has been outstanding. He's GAA 3.46 and SV% .905 don't top the OHL. But when it comes to Kingston goaltenders it leaps and bounds better, then the other options, both of the other goalies Kingston has used, have GAA over 6.14 and SV% under .825, but that doesn't tell the whole story, He is first in the league in Shots against, facing on average over 35 a night, 14 times he has faced more then 40 shots. He is also first in saves with 1427; Bobkov is 2nd in the OHL in minutes with 2585 and games played (45). The Fronts have 15 wins on the season; Bobkov has 15 wins on the season. He gets very little PP support, Kingston's PP is last in the OHL, or even strength goal support only Erie has scored less goals then the Frontenacs. Lots of nights he has to be the teams best penalty killer, their PK is also in the bottom half of the OHL. He has beat some good teams like Niagara, Brampton, London, and in division games he has beat Ottawa and Oshawa three times, Belleville twice and Peterborough once. He has been named a 3 Star selection 14 times; in 7 of those he has been the games 1st Star. 3 of his 1st Star selections have been on the road. His highlight so far has to be the 50 save performance he put in against his former team the London Knights on JAN 13th. I know when the Bulls face the fronts, we know who Darcy Greenaway, Cody Alcock are and what they do, but it’s Bobkov we worry about.

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