Future Watch: Ilya Samsonov Rookie Hockey Cards, Capitals – Ilya Samsonov was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 22nd round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-3, Russian netminder came into the NHL Draft with a lot of fanfare and soon he’s expected to be playing in the best league in the world.
In 2014-15, he started off in the MHL, essentially junior hockey in Russia. The next season he played 19 games in the KHL with Metallurg. He posted an impressive .925 save percentage in the regular season. In six postseason games he had a .916, totally respectable. He played in the U18s where he recorded a .934 save percentage. Samsonov was voted best goaltender in the tournament.
During that 2015-16 season, he played for Team Russia at the U20 World Junior Championship. In two games he had a 1.00 GAA and an eye-popping .956 save percentage. He took home a silver medal.
The next season he played 27 games in the KHL. He had a .936 save percentage in the regular season and a .949 in three playoff games. Again, during that season he played in a second U20 World Junior Championship playing six games this time and putting up a .930 save percentage with 2.11 goals against. He was voted an All-Star, a top-three player on his team and he took home a bronze medal.
Last season he played 26 more regular season games with Metallurg. He had a .926 save percentage in the regular season and .913 in the playoffs. Then he came to the United States.
Here’s a look at him in action:
He started off the season a bit slow. By the time he hit the 29-game mark, he was at a .893 save percentage. He’s getting used to living in North America, speaking English and winning hockey games.
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Russ Cohen is the author of several top-selling sports related books.
Baseball’s Best Rookies
Numbers Don’t Lie: Mets: The Biggest Numbers in Mets History
100 Ranger Greats: Superstars, Unsung Heroes and Colorful Characters
100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die
“Strike Three!” – A Player’s Journey through the Infamous Baseball Strike of 1994
The Winter Classic: The NHL’s Savior
The Philadelphia Flyers: Images of Sports
Pioneers of Baseball
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