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2015 NHL Draft: Ilya Samsonov Profile And Scouting Report

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As the 2015 NHL Draft approaches it is time to have a look at a few prospects who the Dallas Stars could select at the draft.

Is Samsonov the best Russian goalie prospect since Vasilevskiy?
Is Samsonov the best Russian goalie prospect since Vasilevskiy?
Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Today's profile is on Ilya Samsonov, a goaltender from Stanlye Lisy Magnitogorsk in the MHL.

Ilya Samsonov, Goaltender, Six-Foot-Three, 201 Pounds, Catches Left

Regular Season Team GP GAA SVS%
2014-2015 Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL) 1 5.50 0.500
2014-2015 Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL) 18 2.66 0.918
2014-2015 Russia U18 (WJC-18) 3 2.67 0.934
2014-2015 Russia U18 (International Junior) 7 1.87 0.945
Playoffs
2014-2015 Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk (MHL) 2 2.83 0.937

Ilya Samsonov will likely be the first goaltender to hear his name called at the 2015 NHL Draft. He was ranked the best European goaltender by the NHL Central Scouting Services and will likely be drafted within the first two rounds.

He's a very calm goaltender who has shown great poise in the Russian juniors and in international tournaments for Russia. His one start in the KHL left him with some particularly ugly stats.

Ilya Samsonov has the size that is desired in most NHL goalies. He knows how to use his size to his advantage and knows where to be. Samsonov is a very composed goalie and his teams often feed off this to become better themselves. He is confident, something that is useful for a goalie.

Samsonov never gives up on a play, persistently keeping himself in position and not allowing himself to move out of position or be caught unawares. Scouting reports are very complimentary about his ability to track the puck through traffic; one of the many raw skills that a goalie needs to succeed.

He's also the right type of aggressive for a goaltender. He will challenge the shooter and try and put him off the shot but he doesn't make overly aggressive moves which leaves the net wide open. He knows when to make the challenge and when its best to stay in the net and protect the angles.

Overall he's the best of this year's crop of goaltender prospects. He has the size and skill to be a starting goaltender in the NHL. The raw talent is there and his positioning and style of play are generally top notch. Despite his large frame he is very agile and can move quickly to cover any holes that might appear.

There is one particular issue which might mean he isn't drafted in the first round and might fall a bit. He has signed a three year contract with a KHL team meaning that Samsonov will be in Russia for the foreseeable future. While this might not be bad from a development point of view the 'Russian Factor' is going to come into play.

Will the Stars draft him? I personally think that Samsonov will be drafted before the Dallas Stars second round pick and I'd be very surprised if Jim Nill decides to use the Stars first round pick on Ilya Samsonov.

Much like McKenzie Blackwood I think he will go higher than the Dallas Stars will want to draft a goalie.

What do they say about him?

Last Word On Sports:

Ilya Samsonov has the ideal size that teams are looking for in goaltenders today at 6'3″ and 201 lbs. Samsonov makes the most of that size, coming out to challenge on plays, and reducing the amount of net that forwards have to shoot at. He is very athletic, and never gives up on a play, resulting in him being able to make some ridiculous saves. Samsonov has strong legs, and gets side to side across the crease quickly and efficiently. He plays a tight butterfly and his legs kick out quickly to take away the bottom of the net. He has a fast glove hand and blocker as well. Samsonov skates backwards very well, and this makes him hard to beat on dekes as he can come out to cut down those angles, but backs up quickly if the shooter instead tries to go around him. His positioning is very good and he remains square to the puck even when moving around as the puck is passed in the offensive zone.

TSN:

Combines essential elements of size and athletic ability to be imposing in the net and make scoring difficult. He is very aware and reads the play well and is quick to close down the net. An ultra competitor who never gives up on a play. With normal technical refinement, he can become a star.

Hockey Prospectus:

Listed with 6-3, he is a big kid and has perfect size. But despite his big size, he shows great agility. Has good lateral movement and is strong with his pads.