Ilya Samsonov - Courtesy of The Hockey Writers

Fantasy Summary

Samsonov has all the size and athleticism needed to be an elite starter in the NHL


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July 2020 – Samsonov was ruled out of the play-in playoffs completely for the Capitals after not playing a single minute in training camp. Word is that it is injury-related and he sustained it the day before camp started. The Capitals announced he will be ready once the new season begins (estimated for December 1st). While the injury is concerning since he will obviously miss one month at least, it is not bad enough to be longer than three to four months. It will obviously hurt the chances for Washington to see him to hold the crease for over 50 games in 2020-21, as he has seemed injury prone so far, and he will not get a chance to steal the crease again from Holtby during these playoffs. Pat Quinn


July 2020 – Samsonov was selected to attend the play-in playoff training camp for the Capitals. He played well before the season was halted due to COVID and there is a good argument he could be the starter once the play-in playoffs begin. Pat Quinn


March 2020 – There has been no need to update Samsonov’s profile as his play has been great for a majority of the NHL season. So much so in fact that everyone expects the Capitals to move on from Holtby this off season. There have been a few hiccups, and there still will be, but Samsonov is here in the NHL to stay for a long time.  Pat Quinn


October 2019 – Samsonov has played quite well in Washington in the back up role so far. In five games he has four wins and a 0.913 save percentage while not looking out of sorts in the NHL. He is playing with poise and rarely looks rattled in net. Things are looking quite well if you own him in fantasy hockey. Pat Quinn


September 2019 – Samsonov came in to camp and ended up winning the back up role in Washington, mostly because of his contract versus Copley’s. In my opinion Samsonov should spend another season in the AHL battling Vanecek for starts but apparently the Capitals see things differently. This method is the best method for the Capitals to see what they have in Samsonov to give them the idea whether they should extend Holtby or not. Pat Quinn


July 2019 – Samsonov’s first completed North American season was fine. He came in and struggled to start, then when he started to get used to the smaller rink the Bears’ roster was so hurt it was mostly an ECHL defense in front of him. Samsonov then began to string together fantastic starts that resulted in Bears’ wins, unfortunately that did not raise his season save percentage above .900 (It was 0.898). He was then dealing with a lingering injury to finish the season and in to the playoffs, where he posted a 0.897 sv% in five games. Going forward he still has the inside track to the starters net in Washington, but he has the older and more experienced Vanecek playing well in competition with him now. Samsonov still has the higher potential and should be a top three/five prospect in anyones prospect goalie rankings. Pat Quinn


March 2019 – Since Samsonov posted two-consecutive shutouts he has posted a 0.920 save percentage winning eight out of 11 matches. The recent hot run has bumped Samsonov’s overall numbers to 0.892 sv% on the season and he has shown more comfort in North America. The numbers do coincide with the Bears finally getting somewhat healthy. Pat Quinn


January 2019 – Samsonov posted back to back shut outs against Leigh Valley and Binghamton. This season should be considered him learning the North American style ice/game, and in 2019-2020 he should see some cups of coffee. The Capitals signed Copley for two more seasons giving Samsonov extra time in the AHL to build his game. Pat Quinn


December 2018 – Samsonov has slightly struggled to start the season for the Bears as he has played half of the games for a Bears squad that is fourth worst in goal scoring. Currently he has a 0.867 save percentage, 0.048 points less than Vanacek, in 12 games.  He is still adapting to North American ice and a poor team in front of him does not help matters. There have been glimpses of the goalie he will become with games of 0.944 and 0.939, but ultimately hehas had a lower save percentage than average in the AHL. He is too good to be bad for long so just wait for his numbers to turn around. Pat Quinn


September 2018 – Samsonov has been sent down to the AHL as it is best for his development to play a starters/1A role in Hershey. Samsonov will compete with Vanacek for the starters position on an improved, but still not great, Bears squad. Pat Quinn


March 2018 – Playing in only 26 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Samsonov had 12 wins, a 0.926 sv%, a 2.31 gaa, and three shut outs. He is the 1B on one of the good KHL teams, but like most KHL teams they value experience and as good as Samsonov has been he still takes a back seat to the veteran starter. He has already informed the Capitals that he will come play in North America for the 2018-2019 season, and is fine developing in the AHL as long as he gets playing time. Pat Quinn


Nov 2017 – Samsonov is currently stuck as the 1B on Metallurg Magnitogorsk and is playing fine but his numbers look worse than normal. Fret not the reasons for his poorer numbers can be summed up in two parts coming in relief of the 1A Vasily Koshechkin, and Metallurg being a worse team up front than the prior season. In the previous two seasons Samsonov has averaged a 0.931 save percentage in 46 games and currently is riding a 0.912 save percentage in 16 games. He has not suddenly forgotten how to play goal and he will turn around. Pat Quinn


January 2017 – Starting in the playoffs Samsonov recorded a shutout victory over Denmark to advance Russia to the next round where they would face the USA. He did not have to stand on his head that game but he made a few large stops that could have turned the tide of the game in the red hot Denmarks favour. In game two the Russians lost in a shootout 4-3 to the USA. That game was a nightmare for Samsonov in that the three goals against him were pucks he could not stop as they all were weird bounces off of USA players. In the bronze medal round Samsonov remained strong and helped the Russians win 2-1 in overtime against a very good Swedish squad. Unfortunately Samsonov did not win “goalie of the tournament” but scounts voted him as their MVP. He finished the tournament with a 0.930 save percentage and a 2.11 goals against average. Pat Quinn


January 2017 – Playing in three of the four round robin games, Samsonov has played well as the tournament progressed but has not stolen any games for Russia. Two of Samsonov’s first three games were against Canada and a loaded US roster, so there was very little room for him to make a mistake. In game one versus Canada he allowed five goals on 37 shots. In game two versus the United States he allowed three goals in 37 shots. In his final game against Slovakia he recorded a shut out. Going in to the playoffs Samsonov still has the ability to steal the tournament for the Russians and very well could. Pat Quinn


September 2016 – Samsonov has started the past three games for Magnitogorsk recording three wins and stopping 91 or 95 shots with no shut outs. This recent, although small, hot run has boosted his save percentage up to 0.937 and lowered his gaa to 1.79, and has made it impossible for the KHL squad to turn back to Koshechkin. In this last week of September he took home the KHL rookie of the week award too. The big news was Samsonov announcing he would stay in the KHL until the end of the 2017-2018 season, which is nothing to fear if you own him in a pool as this was roughly the perceived time table of him coming to North America anyway. Now there is a more concrete time frame of when he should be here. Expect him to come over after the 2018 season, spend 2018-2019 in the AHL to get accustomed to the NHL ice surface and challenge for the starter spot after that. That is just the cautious approach as once he is finished in the KHL he could likely start (or back up) in the NHL immediately. Pat Quinn


September 2016 – Samsonov has missed the first eight games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk to start the season, split the game he was back for, and came in relief in the most recent game. He is currently sporting a 0.812 save percentage and a 3.2 goals against average, but do not expect those numbers to remain. The only issue currently with Samsonov in the KHL is the amount of ice time he will get as 33-year old Vasily Koshechkin is currently the starter, and it is known how much the KHL favours veterans to rookies. Samsonov’s development camp still went very well and the Capitals are pleased with his progression, he just needs time to play and ply his trade. Pat Quinn


Jan 2016 – Samsonov only played two games in the World Junior Championship, winning both, with one of the games coming against a high powered USA team where he saved 26 of 27 shots and stole the game for the Russians where they won 2-1. Winning that game put the Russians into the gold medal game where they played the other goalie and lost. He has played mainly as a back up in the KHL where he has a 0.929 save percentage and 1.87 goals against average in 14 games. He needs more games to develop but you cannot ignor the numbers he puts up when he plays. Pat Quinn


Nov 2015 – Samsonov started the year in the MHL posting a 0.917 save percentage in two games, both wins. He was called up to the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk soon after where in nine games he has posted a 0.929 SV% with a 1.87 GAA, but he only started five of those games as the other four were relief efforts slightly inflating his stats. He may be taking over the starting role for the club soon as he is just too good to ride the pine. He is a top goalie prospect to own in keeper leagues that will be worth the wait. Pat Quinn


June 2015 – The Washington Capitals selected the first goaltender of the draft taking Russian Ilya Samsonov 22nd overall. Brendan Ross


June 2015 – The goaltender most likely to be selected first in the draft is Ilya Samsonov. The goalie has size, is poised and is really good at finding the puck through traffic in front of him. Samsonov’s positioning and rebound control are top notch and he’s very agile for any times he needs to be involved in cross crease movements. Samsonov also never gives up on the play and is a fiery competitor. He posted great numbers at the 2015 U18 World Championships and was named the best goaltender –posting a 2.67 GAA and .934 SV% in three games. Samsonov suited up for one KHL game but the bulk of his play time came at the MHL level where he had a 2.66 GAA and .918SV% over 18 starts in the regular season and in two playoff games he posted a .937 SV% and 2.83 GAA. Benjamin Gallant

Fantasy Upside 9.0
NHL Certainty 10.0
Country RUS
Position G
Roster Type NHL
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth February 22, 1997
Height 6‘3”
Weight 205 lbs
Drafted 2015 Round 1; Overall: 22


 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2013-2014 Stalnye Lisy MagnitogorskMHL0 - -|Playoffs0 - -
  Russia U17WHC-173 5.71 .887|      
 2014-2015 Metallurg MagnitogorskKHL1 5.50 .500|      
  Stalnye Lisy MagnitogorskMHL18 2.66 .918|Playoffs2 2.83 .937
  Russia U18 |WJAC-19|WJAC-193 1.67 .952|      
  Russia U18WJC-183 2.67 .934|      
  Russia U18 (all)International-Jr7 1.87 .945|      
 2015-2016 Metallurg MagnitogorskKHL19 2.04 .925|Playoffs6 2.29 .916
  Stalnye Lisy MagnitogorskMHL5 1.80 .935|Playoffs1 2.82 .875
  Russia U20WJC-202 1.00 .956|      
 2016-2017 Metallurg MagnitogorskKHL27 2.13 .936|Playoffs3 1.28 .949
  Russia U20WJC-206 2.11 .930|      
  RussiaEHT1 2.00 .931|      
  Russia (all)International7 - -|      
 2017-2018 Metallurg MagnitogorskKHL26 2.31 .926|Playoffs5 2.30 .913
  Russia II (all)International2 0.99 .956|      
 2018-2019 Washington CapitalsNHL0 - -|      
  Hershey BearsAHL37 2.70 .898|Playoffs5 2.99 .897
 2019-2020 Washington CapitalsNHL26 2.55 .913|      
 2020-2021 Washington CapitalsNHL- - -|