Alexander Rybakov makes an unbelievable pass to Maxim Yakutsenya (via KHL/YouTube)
Veteran KHL center Alexander Rybakov made an insane pass Sunday that could very well be the nicest assist in any league all season. Rybakov faked a shot with an exaggerated leg kick, and proceeded to make an awesome no-look, behind-the-back pass while on one foot.
The fake wraparound to no-look pass has become a go-to move for skillful playmakers this season, but center Alexander Rybakov, who plays for the KHL’s Traktor Chelyabinsk, put a new spin on the fake shot to no-look feed to produce one of the most gorgeous assists you’ll see all season.
During Sunday’s game against Spartak Moscow, Rybakov took a short lateral pass from winger Anton Glinkin and appeared to have enough room to fire a shot on goal. With defenders giving chase, Rybakov loaded up to shoot and then made a one-footed, no-look, behind-the-back pass that’s deserving of a spot on every highlight reel:
Maxim Yakutsenya made no mistake on the finish there, but it would have been hard for him to mess up what was one of the most incredibly skillful setups we’ve seen all season. That Rybakov saw Yakutsenya or had the presence of mind to make the pass is astonishing, because he was so far behind the play that he barely comes into frame before blasting the puck home.
It’s not surprising that Spartak netminder Evgeny Ivannikov was completely thrown off by Rybakov’s unbelievable pass, because we’re not sure if even Yakutsenya could have imagined a scenario in which the puck was going to be put right on his tape for a one-timer.
Rybakov has spent his entire career in Russia, and has played for nine different teams in the KHL and former Russian Super League. The 30-year-old pivot was never drafted, and has never appeared for Russia in international competition.
The assist gave Rybakov 14 helpers on the season, and even with close to half the campaign remaining, there’s no chance he tops his effort from Sunday evening’s outing. Rybakov’s slick setup led to the only goal Traktor managed for the contest, however, as they dropped the game 5-1 to Spartak.