While the Capitals’ amateur scouts continue sifting through their draft charts for today’s second day of the NHL draft, here are a few more nuggets on goaltender Ilya Samsonov, the goaltender they took Friday night with the 22nd pick:
Last season: Samsonov finished the 2014-15 regular season with an 11-4-1 record, 2.66 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and two shutouts with Magnitogorsk in the Russian junior league. He also appeared in one game for Mike Keenan’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League.
Internationally: Samsonov recorded a 46-save shutout in the bronze-medal game at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge to lead Russia to a 2-0 win over Canada East. Overall, he finished the tournament with a 2-1-0 record, 1.67 goals-against average and .952 save percentage. He recorded two wins and a .942 save percentage to earn top goaltender honors at the 2015 Under-18 Five Nations tournament. He also represented Russia at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Likens himself to: Samsonov’s favorite player is Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who went undrafted. He said he also models his game after Montreal’s Cary Price and Tampa’s Ben Bishop.
Historic hometown: Samsonov hails from Magnitogorsk, Russia, the same hometown as Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin and New York Islanders forward Nikolay Kulemin.
What they’re saying:
“Combines essential elements of size and athletic ability to be imposing in the net and make scoring difficult. He is very aware and reads the play well and is quick to close down the net. An ultra competitor who never gives up on a play. With normal technical refinement, he can become a star.” – TSN
“He has good size and covers the net well. He plays at the top of the crease and effectively squares to the shooter. He shows good instincts, is well-balanced and can make acrobatic saves.” –NHL.com
“Don’t be surprised if someone breaks from recent tradition and uses a number one pick on this goaltender. Best goalie of the bunch at this point so far. Is fundamentally sound but can also abandon structure to ‘just make a save.’ Already has NHL size for a goaltender.” - Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek
“Samsonov wowed scouts with his play in Russia’s junior hockey league this past season, where he sported a 2.66 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage to go along with an 11-4-1 record. He also turned in some spectacular play at the Under-18 Five Nations tournament, World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and World Junior A Challenge.” - Sportsnet’s Scott Lewis
“Samsonov is one of many good goaltender prospects who have come out of Russia lately. He is considered by some to be the best one since Andrei Vasilevsky. His big size and the ability to make big saves impresses scouts the most. Although there are concerns about his consistency and the fact that he barely competed against top competitors, Samsonov has the talent to become a starting goalie at the NHL level.”— Hockey Prospectus’ Dennis Schellenberg
MORE CAPITALS: A CLOSER LOOK AT SAMSONOV