Ilya Samsonov

Ilya Samsonov

27-Year-Old GoalieG
Toronto Maple Leafs
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Samsonov made a career-best 40 starts for Toronto in 2022-23, going 27-10-5 with a .919 save percentage and 2.33 GAA. He was top-10 in goals saved above expected, along with luminaries named Andrei Vasilevskiy, Connor Hellebuyck and Igor Shesterkin. He then outdueled Vasilevskiy to get the Maple Leafs out of the first round for the first time since 2004. Samsonov earned a big raise in arbitration and will lead his team onto the ice for 50 starts this year. Sure, there's risk in his game -- he's never started more than 40 games in any season. But the 26-year-old is playing on a team that is going to pile up wins, and he's got a big payday in 2024-25 in his sights. Draft Samsonov as a top-10 twinetender and adjust him up slightly if your format overweights wins. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a one-year, $3.55 million contract with the Maple Leafs in July of 2023.
Cool winds hitting at bad time
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 14, 2024
Samsonov made 27 saves Saturday in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Red Wings.
ANALYSIS
Toronto fans are holding their collective breath right now because Samsonov has allowed 11 goals on 52 shots over his last two games. He made some 10-bell saves in the third, but this is a bad time for Samsonov to get cold with the playoffs right around the corner.
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2023–24 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    57:31
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Latest Fantasy Rumors
Likely starter Thursday
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 11, 2024
Samsonov was spotted doing the usual starter's routine at Thursday's morning skate, per David Alter of The Hockey News, likely putting him on track to guard the home goal against New Jersey on Thursday.
ANALYSIS
Samsonov was excellent in his last start, stopping 30 of 32 shots in a 3-2 overtime win over the Penguins on Monday. The 27-year-old has posted an admirable 23-6-7 record in 38 appearances despite posting a sub-par .895 percentage over that span. He will have a tough matchup against the Devils, who rank 10th in goals per game at 3.25.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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Samsonov was widely considered one of the top young goaltenders in the league not all that long ago, but his GAA went up and his save percentage went down in each of his three seasons with the Capitals. Samsonov's record in 2021-22 was fine (23-12-5), but his supporting numbers (3.02 GAA, .896 save percentage) were dreadful. Washington decided to cut ties completely by not qualifying Samsonov with a contract. He ultimately signed a one-year deal with Toronto as a free agent. He'll be competing with another underachiever, Matt Murray, who was brought in from Ottawa via trade, for playing time in 2022-23. There's huge upside here if either netminder can find his prior form and run away with the Maple Leafs' No. 1 job, so keep an eye on this situation.
The stars were aligned for Ilya Samsonov to have a breakout campaign in 2020-21. Stepping out of Braden Holtby's shadow, the Russian netminder had a chance to secure a workhorse role behind a Stanley Cup capable roster, but Samsonov ended up only raising further doubts. Testing positive for COVID-19 not once but twice, the 24-year-old posted a rather pedestrian 2.69 GAA and .902 save percentage en route to a 13-4-1 record, battling the upstart Vitek Vanecek for a role he was expected to attain handily. Samsonov faces a pivotal year in his young career after securing just a one-year, $2 million extension in the offseason, and he'll be facing further competition from Vanecek. Samsonov will get another chance, but with an aging Capitals roster and stiff competition for starts, there's a large range of possible outcomes for him in 2021-22, and therefore some risk for fantasy managers.
It was a tale of two seasons for Samsonov in 2019-20. He won 10 straight games from December to January but ended the regular season on a five-game losing streak, and failed to log a single minute of playing time during the Capitals' brief playoff run. At just 23 years old with 26 career starts under his belt, Samsonov's path to the top of the Capitals' depth chart will likely be more or less unhindered in 2020-21, as it's doubtful the 38-year-old Henrik Lundqvist even has the stamina required to be a starter at this stage in his career. The Capitals beefed up their defense this offseason and have made the playoffs with ease in six consecutive campaigns, so even with a few bad starts here and there, 30 wins should be manageable for Samsonov over the course of a full 82-game schedule. The 23-year-old Russian should be considered a top-10 option at his position heading into this year's fantasy drafts.
Samsonov migrated to North America in 2018-19 and acquitted himself quite well in his inaugural season with AHL Hershey, posting a 2.70 GAA and .898 save percentage behind a 20-16-1 record in 37 starts. While not eye-popping numbers, the Russian owns an excellent combination of size and skill that projects well at the NHL level should his development continue as planned. With Braden Holtby an unrestricted free agent in 2020, Samsonov's time may come soon, but the Capitals will remain patient and look to see what he can do with a heavier workload in 2019-20.
One of the premier goaltending prospects, Samsonov continued to fine-tune his game in the KHL with a 2.31 GAA and .926 save percentage en route to a 12-9-1 record over 26 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk last season. The Russian signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals in May and is expected to get a heavy workload with AHL Hershey in the 2018-19 season. With Braden Holtby firmly entrenched as the starter, Samsonov's fantasy value remains limited as long as he is buried on the depth chart, but the talented netminder owns tremendous upside in dynasty formats. Now that he's made the jump to North America, he should become a factor in standard leagues before long.
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.
More Fantasy News
Gets starting nod
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 12, 2024
Samsonov will patrol the home crease versus the Red Wings on Saturday, Mark Masters of TSN reports.
ANALYSIS
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Not his night
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 11, 2024
Samsonov made 14 saves in a 6-5 loss to New Jersey on Thursday.
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Facing Devils
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 11, 2024
Samsonov will patrol the home crease versus the Devils on Thursday, Mark Masters of TSN reports.
ANALYSIS
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Sharp in OT win
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 8, 2024
Samsonov stopped 30 of 32 shots in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Penguins on Monday.
ANALYSIS
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First off Monday
GToronto Maple Leafs
April 8, 2024
Samsonov was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate, according to Mark Masters of TSN, indicating he will patrol the home crease Monday against Pittsburgh.
ANALYSIS
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