For this part I am going to look at the development path of the Russian goalies.
There were 11 Goalies drafted. Vasilevsky at 19th overall was the earliest. Ilya Samsonov was the only other first round pick. By round here is the number of selections 2nd (0), 3rd (2), 4th & 5th (1), 6th (3) & 7th (2).
The average height of the goalies drafted was 6’2 1/2”. Four of the goalies drafted were overagers.
I’ll take a look at the players progression in various leagues from their draft year up until the age 23. The goal is to identify which statistical variables too look for when drafting a goalie from Russia. I will circle around and update some of the variables when I look at other European goalies (Czech, Slovakia, ect) that have played in Russian programs.
Here are some of the quick observations;
- In the first year all goalies were drafted directly out of the top Russian junior league (MHL) the MHL has only been operating for 8 seasons so we don’t have much data on it yet.
- A goalie should have a minimum SV% of .910 in his draft year in the MHL and should be close to .920.
- International Tournaments Matter. Seven of the eleven goalies drafted played in the U18 prior to being drafted. The average SV% was .927.
- Only three prospects played in the U20 – Vasilevsky, Samsonov & Bobkov as an 18 year-old.
- Seven of the nine eligible prospects played in their final year of eligibility.
- Andrei Vasilevsky is the gold standard. He played U20 during his 17 year old season and had a .953 SV%. He played U17 in his 16 year old season compiled .936 SV%. He played WC in his 19 year-old season and had a .985 SV%. Vasilevsky is arguably the best goalie prospect since Carey Price.
- Ilya Samsonov had an superb second season compiling a .956 in World Juniors & .925 KHL Save Percentages this past season. This year he is tracking ahed of Vasilevsky at the same age.
- Outside of the two first round picks; Igor Shestyorkin (New York Rangers – 4th Rounder) & Ilya Sorokin (3rd Round New York Islanders Pick) are two prospects that are tracking well and worth keeping an eye on.
- For first year overage goalie prospects they should be providing .920+ SV% in the MHL or playing in a pro league VHL (.915+ SV%) or KHL (.905+ SV%).
- For two year overage they should be playing in a pro league VHL (.925 SV%) or KHL (.910+ SV%)
DOB: 7/25/1994 H: 6’3
Draft: 2012 round 1 #19 overall by Tampa Bay Lightning
DOB 2/22/1997 H: 6’3
Draft: 2015 round 1 #22 overall by Washington Capitals
H: 6’5 DOB: 1991-01-02
Draft: 2009 round 3 #76 overall by Anaheim Ducks
DOB: 8/4/1995 H: 6’2
Draft: 2014 round 3 #78 overall by New York Islanders
DOB: 12/30/1995 H: 6’1
Draft: 2014 round 4 #118 overall by New York Rangers
DOB: 6/4/1990 H: 6′
Draft: 2008 round 5 #150 overall by Pittsburgh Penguins
DOB: 3/1/1998 H: 6’2
Draft: 2016 round 6 #157 overall by Winnipeg Jets
DOB: 9/20/1997 H: 6’3
Draft: 2016 round 6 #168 overall by Nashville Predators
DOB 8/12/1994 H: 6’4
Draft: 2014 round 6 #179 overall by Chicago Blackhawks
DOB: 11/28/1996 H: 6’6
Draft: 2015 round 7 #188 overall by Philadelphia Flyers
DOB: 9/17/1992 H: 5’11
Draft: 2012 round 7 #203 overall by Washington Capitals
17 Year Old Season:
- Nine of the 11 goalies played the majority of their 17 year-old season in the MHL.
- The other two goalies played in the Russia3 league. Which was the Russian junior league prior to the KHL. The Rusia3 league did not record SV%
- The average save percentage was .918.
- At this stage in their development I would have listed; Shestyorkin, Vasilevsky, Berdin, Nalimov, Samsonov, Sorokin & Fedotov as prospects. Volkov & Kostenko would be a suspect.
18 Year Old Season
- There were nine goalies that played during the 18 year-old season. A mixture of MHL (5 goalies), KHL (2), VHL (1) & CHL (1).
- MHL is the only one that we have more than one data point on. The average SV% for the MHL is .910. If the SV% is below .910 the prospect is not tracking well.
- If the prospect is playing in the KHL during this +1 season that is a huge milestone.
- One player Igor Shestyorkin played in the VHL. Which is a professional league where some teams are affiliated
- Prospect: Nalimov, Vasilevsky, Sorokin, Samsonov, Shestyorkin, Pechursky & Fedotov.
- Suspect: Bobkov & Kostenko
- TBD: Berdin & Volkov
19 Year-Old Season
- If you are still in the MHL you might be in trouble. If you are still in the MHL and are not dominating you are in big trouble.
- If the prospect is playing in Russia they should be playing in the KHL or at least the VHL.
- Igor Shestyorkin has played a little in the KHL his 18 and 19 year old season’s. He is property of St. Petersburg who are a stronger team and have former 2nd round pick Mikko Koskinen as their top pick. Shestyorkin’s SV% his 18 year-old season was .917 & 19 year-old season was .912.
- I have no clue about the Central Hockey League it is a low level minor hockey league similar but lower quality to ECHL.
|League||Central Hockey League|
- Prospect: Sorokin, Vasilevsky, Shestyorkin
- Suspect: Nalimov, Kostenko, Bobkov
- Idunno: Pechursky
- TBD: Samsonov, Fedotov
20 Year-Old Season
- It’s a mixed bag with regards to the leagues that they play in. 6 goalies in 5 leagues.
- If you are playing in Russia you should be in the KHL. I’d expect a .910+ SV%
- You should be beyond the OHL & MHL. ECHL is a decent development league for goalies but the SV% should be above .900.
- Vashislevsky had a solid first year in North America.
- Prospect: Vasilevsky, Sorokin
- Suspect: Nalimov, Pechursky, Bobkov, Kostenko
- TBD: Shestyorkin
21+ Year-Old Season
- Igor Bobkov played two seasons in the AHL with .903 & .919 SV%. He then went to the ECHL posting a .918 SV% and is now in the KHL
- Ivan Nalimov played his 21st season last year and posted .904 SV% in KHL.
- Alexander Pechursky was an interesting player he played in six leagues(Russia3, CHL, Central Hockey League, MHL, VHL & KHL) in six seasons. started in the Russia-3 (1 season) last year he had a .936 SV% in the KHL. A major issue is his size only 6′.
- Andrei Vasilevsky is in the NHL and might become the starter in Tampa next season.
- Sergei Kostenko did not play his 21 year old season. He returned to the VHL for this 22/23 year old season.
- Prospect: Andrei Vasilevsky
- Suspect: Igor Bobkov, Ivan Nalimov, Alex Pechursky, Sergei Kostenko
21 Year-old League
- Seven of the eleven goalies played at the U18 tournament.
- Nalimov only played one game.
- Please Note: Mikhail Berdin would have played but the meldonium doping scandal. Berdin might be a steal.
U20 (18 Year Old Season)
- Only three goalies played in the World Juniors (U20) the two first round picks Vasilevsky & Samsonov (both had excellent performances) and Bobkov had a solid SV% in 6 games.
- The Russians typically run an older goalie in the tournament so this is solid.
U20 (19 Year Old Season)
- Five of the seven eligible goalies played for Russia in their final year of eligility at the U18’s. (Pechursky & Kostenko did not play for Russia)
- Only Shestyorkin & Vasilevsky had solid tournaments.
Next I’ll look at Russian defenseman. It might be a two parter.