All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Andrei Vasilevski (G)
Height: 6’3 Weight: 204 Shoots: Right
Team: Tolpa Ufa (KHL Jr.)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 1 among European goalies
What kind of player is he?
He draws comparisons to other big Russian netminders like Ilya Bryzgalov, Semyon Varlamov and Sergei Bobrovsky. Many believe he’s ahead of the curve when it comes to positioning, which is a great sign considering his frame.
Vasilevski managed an astounding .953 save percentage at the World Juniors and put up fantastic individual numbers at Russia’s junior level as well. It’s tough to predict where he’ll go given the current state of the goaltending market (read: flooded) but some projections have him as a low first rounder and quite possibly the first netminder off the board.
“Vasilevski is a terrific athlete with very good bio-mechanics. His balance points and strong core allow him to seal the ice with a very wide, but very powerful butterfly. This is going to make him look extremely attractive to many NHL teams.” — Justin Goldman, via the Edmonton Journal
More draft profiles:
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: