Lightning prospect Vasilevskiy shines for Russia at Worlds
Lightning goalie uberprospect Andrei Vasilevskiy did nothing to temper the hype in his first World Championship start Monday.
Vasilevskiy, 19, Tampa Bay's first-round pick in 2012, was impressive in stopping 37 of 38 shots for Russia in a dominating 6-1 win over the United States in pool play in Minsk.
"Looked very good," said Lightning assistant general manager Julien BriseBois, who is at the tournament. "Was under control and made the saves looks easy, especially during the second period when Team USA had many scoring chances. Was a key contributor in Russia's win."
Vasilevskiy was recently signed to a three-year entry-level deal, though Tampa Bay hasn't decided where or how they're going to use him next season, whether that's the American Hockey League or as Ben Bishop's backup.
Vasilevskiy did have a strong year last season in the KHL, going 14-8 with three shutouts in 28 games with a 2.21 goals against average and .923 save percentage. And getting a chance to play at Worlds should be another beneficial experience as he develops.
Russia is 3-0 so far, with USA now 2-1. Lightning center Tyler Johnson has done well for USA, with a goal and three assists in three games for a team-high four points. USA next plays Thursday against Latvia, which includes another Lightning goalie prospect Kristers Gudlevskis (who has stopped 30 of 33 shots overall in tourney).
Lightning wing Richard Panik has zero points and is a minus-3 in three games for Slovakia. Defenseman Dmitri Korobov has an assist and is plus-1 in three games for host Belarus.