Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Goalie Vasilevskiy shows improvement in Lightning camp

BRANDON — Andrey Vasilevskiy is his own worst critic.

After the first day of the Lightning's prospect camp at the Ice Sports Forum, the Russian goalie, with limited English, said he was "bad." On Wednesday, after finishing camp with an .866 save percentage (110 saves on 127 shots) that was the best among four goalies, Vasilevskiy waved his hand to say he was so-so.

But considering games were three-on-three and played within an end zone, goaltenders coach Frantz Jean said Vasilevskiy's performance was notable.

"Three-on-three, the puck never leaves the zone, so every shot is a scoring chance," Jean said. "You always look for your guys on scoring chances to be .800 or .850 (save percentage). So if he's higher than .850, he's had a good tournament."

Vasilevskiy, 18, the No. 19 overall pick in 2012, likely will play for Ufa of Europe's Kontinental Hockey League this season then come to North America. He is considered the top goaltending prospect not on an NHL roster.

"There's been improvement," Jean said, comparing Vasilevskiy to last year's camp. "He's an excellent puck tracker. You can see his experience … after playing some KHL games."

Three-ON-Three: After going 1-3-1 in the preliminary round, Team Stamkos (forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brian Hart and defensemen Artem Sergeev and Saku Salminen) swept three rounds of playoffs to win the three-on-three title.

"You've got to go all out, but you have to make sure you're ready to go in the playoffs," Hart said. "That's what really counts.

TOURNAMENT NOTES: Kucherov led Team Stamkos with six goals, 15 points in eight games. … C Cedric Paquette had camp bests of 18 points and 12 assists. … LW Jonathan Drouin, the No. 3 overall pick in June, had three goals, seven points and showed poised stick-handling skills. "I'm excited to come back in September," he said of training camp. "I'm going to do the same thing I've done in junior: step up my game and attempt to play with those guys."

Preseason: According to a Preda­tors release, the Lightning will face Nashville on Sept. 19 in Tampa and Sept. 24 in Nashville. The rest of the preseason schedule is expected to be announced this week.

ODDS AND ENDS: Expect the Lightning to again be part of the Panthers' preseason prospects tournament in Coral Springs. … LW Adam Erne and D Dylan Blujus will be at the United States national junior evaluation camp Aug. 3-10 in Lake Placid, N.Y. Salminen and LW Henri Ikonen will be with the Finnish team. … A memorial service for former Lightning assistant coach Wayne Fleming is Tuesday in Calgary. Fleming, 62, died in March after a two-year fight with brain cancer.

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