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Lightning's enthusiasm for goaltending prospect Andrey Vasilevskiy keeps growing

The Lightning, it is believed, has a potential goaltending star in Andrey Vasilevskiy. And head amateur scout Al Murray did nothing to change anyone's mind in a recent discussion about the 18-year-old Russian.

"This guy is a terrific prospects," Murray said of Vasilevskiy, who was drafted 19th overall in 2012. "I haven't seen a goalie in my time scouting in 20 years as developed at this stage of his development as this guy is.

"That doesn't mean he's going to eclipse Patrick Roy or Martin Brodeur," Murray continued. "But at this stage of his development, at his age, I haven't seen a goalie as good as this guy."

Vasilevskiy had a terrific 2012-13.

In 27 games with Ufa's junior team in Russia, he had a 1.93 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. In eight games with Ufa's team in Europe's Kontinental Hockey League, he was 4-1-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. And at the 2013 world junior championship, Vasilevskiy helped Russia to a bronze medal with a 1.81 goals-against average and .950 save percentage in four games.

The question is, where will Vasilevskiy play next season? He has one year left on his Russian contract, though Vasilevskiy does have a buyout clause. His North American rights are held by OHL Mississauga, who can retain, trade or relinquish them.

"We're hoping he can get out of (the contracts) and come over," said Murray, who added that if Vasilevskiy does come to North America, he also is eligible to play for AHL Syracuse.

"He's right on the cusp of pushing his game to a whole other level," Murray said. "We're just not sure where that's going to be."

[Last modified: Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:27pm]


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