CALGARY, CANADA - JANUARY 3: Andrei Vasilevski #30 of Team Russia stops the puck on a shot by Mark Scheifele #19 of Team Canada during the 2012 World Junior Hockey Championship Semifinal game at the Saddledome on January 3, 2012 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.
The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).
However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.
So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.
So without further ado:
Introducing our 2012 NHL #22 Draft Prospect - Andrei Vasilevski
Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2012 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.
Goalie / Tolpar Ufa
Jul 25 1994
|2011/12 - Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
|2011/12 - Playoffs||2||0||2.50
Accomplishments & Awards:
|2011/12||U20 WJC Top 3 Player on Team|
|2010/11||U20 WJC Silver Medal|
|U18 WJC Bronze Medal|
Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)
That Russian red looks pretty good...
Summarized Scouting Report
Has the size, mental approach and skill to be a solid No. 1 goaltender at some juncture ... at 6’3″, Vasilevski is a big and lengthy body to shoot at ... a terrific athlete with very good biomechanics ... possesses great balance ... flexibility ... has a strong net presence ... quick lateral movements ... a very formidable glove hand ... excellent positioning ... does a good job of challenging ... has good angles and squares up well to shooters ... strong rebound control ... extremely poised under pressure ... good mental composure ... reads plays well
One of the knocks against Vasilevski has been his stick handling ... how long will an NHL team have to wait for him to leave Russia, and will he even want to come over after several years of being asked to stay?
Andrei Vasilevski Андрей Василевский Highlights (via hockeysemin)
Where Does He Fit In The Wild?
We never need goalies. Does the Wild even have a Russian scout?
Oh, the annual falling Russian because he's in Russia. Grigorenko has a little bit of that but he's playing in the Q so a bit of the factor is sort of forgotten.
Vasilevski is an extremely talented goaltender who is big, athletic, moves well, and is extremely calm under pressure, that is everything you want in a starting goalie.
Of course, like any young goaltender, he will need a bit of time to refine his game and adjust to quicker and more challenging opponents, but Vasilevski is pretty much your ideal goaltending prospect.
Now to the flaw: he's Russian playing in Russia.
With all the contract conflicts that have been seen throughout the years, it is not different in this goalie's case. And say he DOES come over to North America, the new rule by the KHL that "returning Russian NHLers will not count against the salary cap" makes contract negotiation in the next 5 years all the more hectic and unsure.
As a team that wants stability in their organization, will Vasilevski be worth your first round selection?
Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Repor