Ilya Samsonov

Hometown:

Magnitogorsk Russia

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1997-02-22

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2015

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

1st round (22nd overall), 2015

Weight:

201 lbs.

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History

2012-13: Ilya Samsonov played for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1997-born team and skated for Automobilist Yekaterinburg in the Russian U16 championships.

2013-14: Samsonov played for Traktor Chelyabinsk in the U17 Russian championships and spent time with the Metallurg Magnitogorsk MHL junior team Stalnye Lisy. He was one of the top goalies in the Ural region playing for the Magitigorsk 1997-born team. He played for the Russia U17 team in the 2014 World Hockey Challenge and in two international tournaments. He had a 5.71 goals against and .887 save percentage in three games at the WHC.

2014-15: Samsonov made his KHL debut, stopping two of four shots in just over a period of action in his only appearance with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in November. He played for Stalnye Lisy in the MHL and garnered attention for his play with the Russia U19 team at the World Junior A Challenge and for the Russia U18 squad at the 2015 World Junior Championship. Samsonov was 11-4-1 with a 2.66 goals against and .918 save percentage in 18 regular season games for Stalny Lisy and was 1-1 with a 2.83 goals against and .937 save percentage in two MHL playoff games. He had a 1.67 goals against with a .952 save percentage in three games at the WJAC and was 2-1 with a 2.67 goals against and .934 save percentage in three games for the Russia U18 team at the WJC. Samsonov was the top ranked international goalie in the Central Scouting final rankings and was the first goaltender taken in the 2015 NHL Draft when he was selected by Washington in the first round (22nd overall).

Talent Analysis
Samsonov is a very athletic goalie who covers a big part of the net and can count on his good lateral movement to make a save. His good size (6’3”, 200 lbs.) and quick feet will most likely allow him a fast adaptation to the North American game, even if he will surely need some seasoning. After Vasilevsky, Russia produced yet another potential NHL starting goalie, as his performance at the 2015 U18 WJC confirmed.
Future
For the time being, Samsonov is locked into playing in Russia until 2018. He has performed well for Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk of Russia’s junior hockey league, though his real test will be when he makes the full-time jump to the KHL. Samsonov is expected to join Metallurg Magnitogorsk for the 2015-16, though it would not be a surprise if he ends up back with Stalnye Lisy. Should his development continue as planned, he has the ceiling of an excellent NHL starter and could look to supplant current starter Braden Holtby.

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