While the NHL season remains in limbo, hockey is still being played and the Tampa Bay Lightning are still being represented. Russia’s junior and pro leagues started a month ago and the Canadian junior leagues are now a week old. With the prospect seasons in full swing, Sports Talk Florida is pleased to announce its first Bolt Prospect of the Week for the 2012-2013 season, Andrei Vasilevski.
A goaltender for the Ufa Jr. club in Russia’s MHL, Vasilevski was named the Lightning organization’s top prospect by BoltProspects.com after the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Vasilevski was the 19th overall pick and first goalie off the board at the draft, selected by the Lightning with their second first round pick. The Mississauga Steelheads took Vasilevski in the CHL Import Draft the following week, but he couldn’t come to terms with the Ontario Hockey League club despite an aggressive effort by the organization.
Vasilevski remained with the Ufa program in Russia and already has 10 games under his belt for their junior/MHL club – and he’s won nine of them. Plus, the one he lost was a 1-0 decision to Nizhnekamsk Jr. – a team he shut out the day before, 5-0. In his last game on September 23, he backstopped Ufa Jr. to a 3-1 win over Perm Jr., making 26 saves in the process.
For the year, Vasilevski has a 1.60 goals against average and a .943 save percentage. Last year he had a 2.23 GAA with a .931 save percentage for Ufa Jr.
Vasilevski projects as a No. 1 NHL netminder in the future due to his athleticism, competitiveness, and ideal size (6’3”). It could be a year or two before the Lightning are able to bring him to North America, but they believe he’ll be worth the wait.