2012 Draft Prospect Profile #31: Andrei Vasilevski
Team: Tolpar Ufa (MHL)
Date of Birth: July 25, 1994
Place of Birth: Tyumen, Russia
Ht: 6'3" Wt: 200
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
2012 MHL Playoff Stats:
Well, it's fitting that we finish off the Draft Prospect Profiles for May with a player who would fill the Jackets' biggest organizational hole. I know most of you will throw up the Caution Flag because of the fact that Vasilevski is a Russian, but he used a solid World Juniors tournament to solidify his status as the Central Scouting top-ranked European goaltender in this draft. Vasilevksi is a big kid, is tremendously athletic, and shows great poise. There are questions about his consistency, and he's really surged of late to cement his place in the draft rankings.
There’s always several players who drastically improve their stock at the World Juniors and Vasilevski is testament to that theory this year. While the big goaltender has been one of the top goaltenders in the MHL this season, he really put his name on the map with a tremendous goaltending performance at the World Juniors where he split time with Andrey Makarov. Vasilevski has great size and has a strong net presence. He has good angles and squares up well to shooters and does a good job of challenging them by coming out of the net. The Russian factor is always a concern for NHL teams but on talent alone, Vasilevski is certainly deserving of a Top 30 pick.
Exceedingly self-assured, Vasilevski exudes the kind of poise teams are looking for in a number one netminder. When one adds in his plus frame and superlative athleticism, it’s going to be hard for many franchises hurting for that elusive top-flight starter to pass on Vasilevski. His aggressive tendencies to challenge shooters give him the ability to use his size to eclipse nearly the entire net when he so chooses. As a butterfly goaltender, Vasilevski’s athleticism and form are under intense scrutiny from scouts – and he’s passed with flying colors on both accords. He stays big when in the butterfly and is able to remain powerful with quick, strong lateral movements and excellent balance. With the quickness (both on his feet and with his hands) to deny first and second-chance opportunities and excellent economy of motion plus rebound management, it’s a surprise he’s not more highly rated than he is.
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
Hmm... what's the biggest hole in this organization's depth chart again? Oh yeah, right; in goal. Obviously, there are a few strikes against Vasilevski at the outset: he's Russian, he's talented, and so the KHL will probably come calling. In addition, he's one of those guys whose stock has really taken off since the World Juniors tournament. So, while he's a promising prospect, there are certainly a couple of red flags that come along with him. Vasilevski certainly has the potential to become a number 1 goaltender in the NHL with proper development: he's got a huge frame, he's athletic, and he's got poise. As we've seen here in Columbus, that last aspect might be the most important one. Vasilevski would be a solid pick either in the second round, or with the Kings' pick should Columbus decide to use it.
Vasilevski In Action