Andrei Vasilevskiy
Andrei Vasilevskiy
24-Year-Old GoalieG
Tampa Bay Lightning
2018 Fantasy Outlook
At just 23 years old, Vasilevskiy delivered his first Vezina Trophy nomination for an outstanding 2017-18 campaign with the Bolts. It was his first full season as the starter and he co-led the NHL in both wins (44) and shutouts (eight). The wins set a franchise record and his .920 save percentage was 15th in the NHL among those who started 25 or more games. Moreover, his 2.62 GAA was seventh among those with at least 60 starts. Sure, Vasilevskiy wobbled a bit in the postseason, but it's hard to blame the young man. He'd already started 17 more regular-season games than ever before and added 17 more in the playoffs. Vasilevskiy is big, smart and positionally sound, and he will deliver another Vezina nomination in 2018-19. He could very well backstop the Bolts to their second-ever Stanley Cup and should be among your top options in the twine tent. Read Past Outlooks
$Sign a three-year, $10.5 million extension with the Lightning in July of 2016.
Starting against Jets
GTampa Bay Lightning
December 16, 2018
Vasilevskiy will start in the road net for Sunday's game versus the Jets, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
Vasilevskiy will make his second straight start since returning from a long recovery due to a foot injury. His last outing was remarkable, shutting down the Maple Leafs to just one goal and making 48 saves. He could face the same magnitude of action again with the Jets ranking sixth in the league with 33.0 shots on goal per game and the league's top power-play unit at 30.2 percent.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The 23-year-old Vasilevskiy enters training camp as the undisputed top dog in Tampa's blue paint. He took over for an injured Ben Bishop right before Christmas last season and held his own, although his overall numbers were average (2.61 GAA and .918 save percentage). But we only need to dig a little deeper to see his true potential -- and the reasons Vasilevskiy could be the breakout candidate of 2017-18. He delivered a .922 save percentage at even strength in 2016-17, which is an indication of strong underlying skills and something that forecasts success. And then there's his overall play post-Big Ben. Vasilevskiy's save percentage once he became the top dog was .926, a number that, if extrapolated over a full season, would have put him second in the league behind only Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky. Vasilevskiy is the future of the franchise and is about to become a top-10 fantasy netminder at the age of 23. Take that to the bank.
Vasilevskiy's time has come. He proved in the 2015-16 postseason that he could command the blue paint for the Bolts and in any other place, he'd be the top dog. But Ben Bishop still wears a bolt on his jersey, at least for now, and that means Vasilevskiy will see limited ice until Bishop is moved. Expect that to come either by the start of the season or before the end of 2016. Vasilevskiy is big and talented, and ready for prime time. And at $925,000, he's a whole lot cheaper than Big Ben ($5.95 million). Draft day will be a challenge for you, though, especially if the team enters the season with both men. Bishop delivers elite numbers and will be the top dog if he's still in town. Dynasty leagues building for 2017-18 and beyond should invest heavily. But those of you in single-year leagues need to weigh your options very, very carefully.
Vasilevskiy is biding his time. He’s incredibly talented and the Bolts’ goalie of the future, but that big guy Ben Bishop is blocking his path. Vasilevskiy will be on call should Bishop get hurt (again). And because the Stanley Cup runners up figure to be very good again, that would immediately make Vasilevskiy an above-average option in the net. But for this year and next, Vasilevskiy won’t start more than 30 or 35 games if Bishop is healthy. He’s valuable as a handcuff and in both deep dynasty and daily leagues. But outside that, he’s Robin to Bishop’s Batman. His time won’t truly come until 2017-18.
Vasilevskiy may be a top-10 prospect, but he's nowhere near NHL-ready. He turned 20 this past summer and hasn't played more than a handful of games on NHL-size ice. Still, the sky really is the limit for this big, athletic twine-tender, who carried an average KHL squad to the league finals in 2013-14 and shined as a backup for Russia's gold-medal winning team at the most recent World Championships. He'll spend 2014-15 in the AHL, splitting time with Kristers Gudlevskis. A starting gig in the NHL is still several seasons away, and that means his fantasy value is, too.
Vasilevskiy is a big, raw, athletic twinetender with tremendous, long-term fantasy upside. But there's a big BUT in his file and it's the "Russian" card. He has NHL starter upside, but he still needs time to develop. And that means his eight-game cup of coffee in the KHL last season could turn into a full carafe. He says all the right things about wanting to be in the NHL, but the money the KHL can dish out might be much too enticing. He's certainly stashable in keeper formats, but don't draft him too early there. This is truly a watch-and-wait situation.
Right now, Vasilevski is best known for being the Team Russia goalie who was yanked with six minutes left in his team's 6-5 win over Canada and the 2012 World Under-20 Championship. But that will soon change. Vasilevski is a big, calm netminder who could be the best his country has produced (at that age). The obvious caveats apply - he's likely bound to play in the KHL for a few years and that makes him a risk. Fantasy owners should wait for hints he'll come to North America before rostering him.
More Fantasy News
Dominating performance
GTampa Bay Lightning
December 13, 2018
Vasilevskiy made 48 saves Thursday in a 4-1 win over Toronto.
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In goal Thursday
GTampa Bay Lightning
December 13, 2018
Vasilevskiy will get the starting nod at home versus the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
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Could return Thursday
GTampa Bay Lightning
December 12, 2018
Vasilevskiy might be an option to start against the Maple Leafs on Thursday. According to coach Jon Cooper, "It's not as much the injury as it is the cardio and how he's feeling in that respect," Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
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Activated from IR
GTampa Bay Lightning
December 11, 2018
Vasievskiy (foot) is no longer listed on injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site.
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Ahead of schedule
GTampa Bay Lightning
December 8, 2018
Vasilevskiy (foot) could return to practice early next week and Lightning goalie coach Frantz Jean indicated he could return "sooner than later," Caley Chelios of Fox Sports reports.
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