Ilya Samsonov

Aaron Vickers

Samsonov is one of the best Russian puck stoppers to come along since Tampa Bay prospect
Andrei Vasilevsky was on the draft-eligible scene. He has good natural size; thick and
strong build, not skinny, imposing in the crease for shooters. He moves well, fluidly getting
around the crease. The big Russian stopper is always square to the shot, in strong position and
makes good use of his chest protector. He plays an assertive game with an established presence
at the top of his crease. Not terribly athletic, but does end up making some nice saves that
show off his ability to get creative when the defense around him breaks down. He can stack the
pads, use the poke check or rob a shooter with a quick glove save. He can also get his blocker
on a wired puck and deposit it into the protective net or open corner. His rebound control is solid
as well. He challenges shooters and is aggressive, taking away a lot of the net. But he is not so
overly aggressive that it costs him. His reflexes and flexibility are admirable. He makes unconventional
efforts to keep competing on plays. His calming nature and confidence are very notable
and he bounces back from any goals allowed, showing a quick ability to forget and move on.  (May 2015)