Prospect Impressions: Saves of the season featuring Condon, Nedeljkovic, Vasilevskiy, and more

By David Hahn

Andrei Vasilevskiy - Tampa Bay Lightning

Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has stepped into the starting role in the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals after Lightning starter Ben Bishop went down with an injury in Game 1 of that series (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

 

4. Widely heralded as one of the best prospects between the pipes, Andrei Vasilevskiy has been thrown into the fire more than the Tampa Bay Lightning may have wanted. He has responded admirably, appearing in 40 regular season games with the Lightning over the last two seasons. He is a big, agile goaltender with the ability to read plays and stay positionally solid, and those skills were on display against the Philadelphia Flyers. Just watch him push off and get a glove on this unlikely 2-on-0 right in front of the net.

With Ben Bishop down with an injury, Vasilevskiy is again in the spotlight as the Lightning are in the midst of a battle against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a trip to the Stanley Cup finals on the line.

3. Enduring a tumultous beginning to the 2015-16 campaign helped propel Alex Nedeljkovic into becoming one of the top goaltenders in the OHL. After moving from Plymouth to Flint, the Firebirds ran into problems well out of his control, and Nedeljkovic was traded to the Niagara IceDogs where his season truly began to take shape. Affectionately referred to as “Ned,” the IceDogs brought him on and gave him the lion’s share of playing time, and he responded with a number of phenomenal saves. Nedeljkovic carried that momentum into the World Junior Championship, where he made an insane save from his stomach to stop Russia from scoring.

Nedeljkovic returned to the OHL after the tournament and guided Niagara all the way to the OHL championship series, where the team simply ran out of gas against a well-oiled London Knights machine. He is a prospect of the Carolina Hurricanes, and will certainly be a name to keep an eye on as he ascends to the NHL.

The top two saves of the season are going to be featured within the Top 20 Plays of the Year, our final Prospect Impressions series that will launch next week. Stay tuned to see the top saves of the season!

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey

 

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