Andrei Vasilevski to Lightning: Video Highlights, Scouting Report and Analysis
Height/Weight: 6'3", 204 lbs
Team: Tolpar Ufa (MHL, Russia)
In a draft class with no goaltenders expected to be high first-round picks, young Russian goaltender Andrei Vasilevski could turn out to be one of the steals of this year's draft. In terms of size, he has all the physical attributes that general managers look for in goaltenders these days. He makes himself look big in his crease, and even has impressive agility and movement.
Vasilevski proved he could play well in high-pressure games earlier this year when he helped lead Russia to the silver medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships. For the tournament, Vasilevski had a 2.01 GAA and a remarkable .953 save percentage.
He didn't play in the 1-0 OT loss to Sweden in the gold-medal game, but he started the quarterfinal game against the Czech Republic and earned a shutout. He struggled versus Canada in the semifinal, but his team escaped with a 6-5 victory.
The quarterfinal win was very impressive because he made a number of sensational saves in a duel with the tournament's most outstanding goaltender in Petr Mrazek.
Vasilevski isn't ready to play in the NHL next season but he projects to be a starting goaltender for many years. It wouldn't be surprising if he had the same kind of impact in the NHL that other Russian goalies such as Evgeni Nabokov have had. Vasilevski has the most star potential of any goalie in this draft class.
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