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Road to the NHL Draft: Ilya Samsonov

Ilya Samsonov

Position: Goaltender

Junior team: Magnitogorsk (Russia)

Born: Magnitogorsk, Russia

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 203 pounds

2014-15 stats: 18 games, 11-4-1, .918 save percentage

Central Scouting rank: No. 1 (European goalies)

Lowdown: The 18-year-old got a chance to play one period in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, and the results were predictable with two goals on four shots. The results also were predictable when he played against skaters his own age: He dominated.

Samsonov was voted top goaltender of the under-18 world championships, boasting a .934 save percentage for an outmanned Russian team. He also earned top goalie honors at the Five Nations Tournament (.942). He recorded a 46-save shutout against Canada East to get the bronze medal in the World Junior A challenge.

He has a three-year deal to play in the KHL, so teams may avoid spending an early pick on the talented netminder. The team that does draft him will get a poised goalie who models his game after countryman and former Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky.

They said it: “He has good size and covers the net well. He plays at the top of the crease and effectively squares to the shooter. He shows good instincts, is well balanced and can make acrobatic saves.” – Goran Stubb, NHL director of European scouting.

The Buffalo News is profiling 30 prospects in 30 days leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held June 26-27.

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