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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Ilya Samsonov
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
A first-round pick in 2015 and arguably the top goalie prospect in the world, Samsonov is slated for another season in the WHL, where he's already developed into one of the circuit's better goalies, having posted a 2.13 GAA and .936 save mark over 27 games last season. He did that despite playing against veteran competition while being just 19 years old for most of the campaign, which has to have his dynasty-league owners salivating about his arrival at the NHL level. Unfortunately, that’s a while away, as Samsonov won't come over to North America until 2018-19 -- and even then, the young Russian will be stuck behind Braden Holtby and perhaps Philipp Grubauer in Washington. Of course, he could also be used as a trade chip to bring the Caps a star player during the 2017-18 season; such a development would likely be a boon for Samsonov’s fantasy owners, as it might create a clearer path to playing time in his early 20s.
A somewhat surprising first-round selection by the goalie-rich Washington Capitals in 2015, Samsonov had a productive 2015-16 season with the KHL's Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Primarily playing as the backup netminder, the 19-year-old netminder managed an impressive 2.04 GAA and .925 save percentage en route to a 6-4-3 record in 19 appearances last season. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound netminder has an impressive blend of size, athleticism, and hockey IQ that remind scouts of current Tampa Bay goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky. With Vezina Trophy-winner Braden Holtby under a reasonable contract for the foreseeable future, the Capitals have every incentive to take their time with Samsonov's development, a plan they appear to be embracing as he will be allowed to finish out the remaining two years of his KHL contract before hopefully transitioning to the North American ranks sometime after the 2018-19 season. While he has a high ceiling and a bright future, he is unlikely to demonstrate his talents at the NHL level anytime soon, although he should get a chance to showcase his skills for Team Russia at the upcoming U-20 World Junior Championships in Canada, as well as continued work in the KHL ranks.