Tampa Bay announces signing of goalie Andrei Vasilevskii (Vasilevskiy) to entry level contract

"What is in a name, if a 'Vasilevskiy' was spelled 'Vasilevskii' instead, is it still not a highly promising prospect?" - Jamie Sabau

The 2012 1st round draft pick comes to North America with high expectations.

He's a former first round draft pick, #19 overall in the 2012 NHL entry draft.  He's a KHL veteran at the tender age of 19 (he turns 20 in late July), and he is now the newest addition of depth and talent to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization - even if inconsistency with the spelling of his last name persists.

Andrei Vasilevskii(y) was signed Tuesday to a standard three-year entry-level contract by the Tampa Bay Lightning.  This signing was two years in the making, as Vasilevskii(y) had stated intent repeatedly to come to North America to play, but was delayed by obligations in Russia with Ufa Salavat Yulayev, his KHL club.

There is a lot of talk and speculation out there about how good the netminder nicknamed Vasya is; with some of that talk going way over the line of reasonability (he and Kristers Gudlevskis will be the tandem in Tampa and Ben Bishop is to be traded!).  While his numbers are solid in a competitive adult league, an adjustment to the smaller North American ice surface likely has Andrei headed for Syracuse to start the 2014-15 campaign.  At least that's the most reasonable take unless Vasya blows people away during summer training sessions (such as the prospects camp that will come after the NHL draft next month).

The press release from the Lightning is below:

LIGHTNING SIGN 2012 FIRST-ROUND PICK G ANDREI VASILEVSKII

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed goaltender Andrei Vasilevskii to a three-year, entry-level contract today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.

Vasilevskii, 6-foot-3, 203 pounds, played in 28 games with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League this season, posting a 14-8 record with three shutouts, a 2.21 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage.  He led all Ufa goaltenders for games played, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.  Vasilevskii also led his team to the semi-finals of the KHL playoffs in 2014, posting a 9-9 record with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage with one shutout.  He ranked tied for fourth in the KHL during the playoffs for save percentage and eighth for goals-against average.

The native of Tyumen, Russia made his KHL debut last season, playing in eight games for Salavat Yulaev.  He went 4-1 with a 2.22 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.  In all, Vasilevskii has appeared in 36 KHL games, with an 18-9 record, a 2.21 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage with four shutouts.  Prior to joining Salavat Yulaev, he played for their junior team, Tolpar Ufa, in the MHL.

Vasilevskii has shined on the international stage with Russia, appearing in each of the previous three IIHF U-20 World Junior Championships.  He won the Silver Medal in 2012 as well as Bronze Medals in 2014 and 2013.  Vasilevskii was voted by participating coaches as one of Russia's top three players in each of the tournaments he has played in.  He also participated in the 2011 IIHF U-18 World Junior Championships where he won the Bronze Medal.

The 19-year-old was drafted by the Lightning in the first round, 19th overall, at the 2012 NHL Draft.

Please note the updated spelling of Vasilevskii's first and last name.

Vasilevskii's Career Statistics

Regular Season

Playoffs

Season

Team

League

GP

W

L

SO

GA

SA

GAA

SV%

GP

W

L

SO

GAA

SV%

2010-11

Tolpar Ufa

MHL

14

-

-

-

-

-

1.81

0.937

-

-

-

-

-

-

Russia

WJC-U18

6

4

2

0

15

235

2.62

0.936

-

-

-

-

-

-

2011-12

Tolpar Ufa

MHL

27

-

-

-

-

-

2.23

0.931

2

-

-

-

2.23

0.931

Russia

WJC

5

4

1

2

10

213

2.01

0.953

-

-

-

-

-

-

2012-13

Tolpar Ufa

MHL

27

-

-

-

-

-

1.93

0.930

3

-

-

-

2.85

0.897

Salavat Ufa

KHL

8

4

1

1

11

144

2.22

0.924

-

-

-

-

-

-

Russia

WJC

4

2

1

1

8

160

1.81

0.950

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013-14

Salavat Ufa

KHL

28

14

8

3

59

766

2.21

0.923

18

9

9

1

1.99

0.934

Russia

WJC

6

4

2

0

10

150

1.83

0.933

-

-

-

-

-

-

KHL Totals

36

18

9

4

70

910

2.21

0.923

18

9

9

1

1.99

0.934

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