Photo courtesy of KHL.ru

Fantasy Summary

Exceptionally gifted, right-catching netminder. Fierce lateral movement and lightning-quick reaction time. Owns the size and composure needed to be a potential Vezina-level talent.


Observations

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November 2022 – Although his numbers have not been great to start the year, Milwaukee has decided to give the starting reigns to Askarov for now. Through eight games played, he currently holds a .886 save percentage and a 3.14 goals-against average. The young Russian netminder will hope to see those numbers trend upwards as the season progresses. Curtis Rines

May 2022 – Askarov has officially left the KHL and joined the Milwaukee Admirals on a try-out deal for the remainder of the season before presumably signing his entry-level contract heading into next year. Barring any significant changes, expect Askarov to battle for Milwaukee’s starting job next season against names like Devin Cooley, Tomas Vomacka, and potentially Connor Ingram if he does not make the Predators. Curtis Rines

March 2022 – After such a dominant 2020-21 season across all three levels of Russian hockey, it’s safe to say that this year has been a step back for Askarov. Comparing six games in the VHL last season to the nine he has played this season, Askarov’s save percentage has dropped from a .923 to a .899. For a goalie that is expected to dominate the lower tiers of Russia, a step forward was needed and expected. To be fair to Yaroslav, he hasn’t had as many playing opportunities as he would’ve initially hoped for, but that tends to happen in Russian organizations when they know a player won’t be sticking around. If general manager David Poile’s comments recently mean anything, expect Askarov to sign and play in Milwaukee by next season. Curtis Rines

February 2020 – After a disappointing result for team Russia falling short of the podium at the World Junior Championship, Askarov simply couldn’t steal enough games to push the team over the top. With a much different team than the previous year, Askarov really had to carry the bulk of the work as the centerpiece in goal and held his own with a 0.914 save percentage, but never outright stole a game. Upon his return to the Russian league circuit, Askarov transitioned from a successful stint in the KHL and is now tending the net for the St. Petersburg VHL squad. The influx of goaltenders under contract at the KHL level affords the team the option to continue giving Askarov starts at the VHL where he had great success last season and continues his gradual development. Nicholas Kawka

December 2020 – Askarov has had a fantastic fall. His performance for St. Petersburg SKA has led to a winning record and stellar personal numbers in the crease with a 0.96 goals against and a 0.962 save percentage. Internationally, Askarov led the Russian Karjala Cup squad to a 3-0 record in November. With the World Junior Championships on the horizon, Askarov will be looking to put his mark on the tournament in a big way this year as the leading man in net for Russia. Nicholas Kawka

October 2020 – Askarov was drafted 11th overall by the Predators. Askarov is expected to spend another two years in Russia but could push for an NHL job in 2022-2023.  Jokke Nevalainen

September 2020 – The 18-year-old has elevated to the KHL and appears no worse for wear. In fact, he’s been the top goaltender in the entire league through the opening two weeks of the season. Askarov has stopped 76 of 78 shots over three contests – including a 32-save shutout. His .974 save percentage is tops for starters. I repeat, he’s 18! You don’t use lottery picks on goaltenders. That is, of course, unless they’re truly special. This kid is special. Cam Robinson

June 2020 – Askarov is prepped and ready to be the first netminder selected in the top-10 since Carey Price went fifth overall 15 years ago. The 6’3 Russian was very good in the VHL – Russia’s second-tier pro league, going 12-3-3 while posting a .920 save percentage. Some will point out that the league average in the V is around .920 and I would counter by saying we NEVER see 17-year-old goaltenders suit up in that league, so beat it. Askarov presents the entire buffet of attributes needed to be a serious starter in the NHL. His wait time should likely be a smidge less than normal, assuming he lands in a spot that needs help in the crease. We don’t often recommend placing too much value in the crease position when it comes to youngsters, but this kid will challenge that notion. Cam Robinson

February 2020 – Askarov had a bad performance at the World Juniors but he has had a great season in the VHL which is the second-highest men’s league in Russia. It is also good to remember that when Askarov played against his age group at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, he was almost unbeatable. One bad tournament should not wipe away everything else he has done. Everything still points towards Askarov becoming a top 10 or at least a top 15 draft pick.  Jokke Nevalainen

July 2019 – At age 16, Askarov played as a starting goalie both for SKA-Varyagi in the MHL and for Russia U18. He was spectacular throughout the season, and he is arguably the best Russian goalie prospect since Andrei Vasilevsky. Askarov has posted a .921 save percentage in 31 games in the MHL, and also .948 and .916 at WJC-U17 and WJC-U18 respectively. After a great performance at the U18 Worlds, he is a potential lottery pick for the 2020 NHL Draft. Next season, he is going to battle for a starter position in the VHL and may also debut in the KHL at some point of the season. It’s safe to name him as a starting goalie for Russia at the U18 Worlds next year, and he could also make the Russian roster for the U20 World Juniors. Askarov’s toolset provides all you want to see in goalie. With his big 6-foot-3 frame, he covers a lot of net. He has amazing reflexes and is mentally strong. In addition to this, Askarov is right-handed which is rare for NHL goalies. Plays butterfly style rather than stand-up. Askarov doesn’t tend to aggressively come out from the net and he could play the puck more consistently. However, he isn’t afraid of that and should be able to fix it later on. Although Askarov may become a top-15 pick, as a goalie prospect, he is projected to be at least two or three years away from the NHL after the draft. However, he is very likely to develop into a franchise goalie and may someday contend for the Vezina Trophy for the team that takes a gamble on him.  Sergei Kuzin

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 9.0
NHL Certainty 8.0
Country RUS
Position G
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth June 16, 2002
Height 6‘4”
Weight 179 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 1; Overall: 11

Stats

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2015-2016 Team Northwest U14Districts Cup U145 2.50 -|      
 2016-2017 Team Northwest U15Districts Cup U155 - -|      
 2017-2018 Buldogi St. Petersburg U16Russia U1616 1.96 .913|      
  Team Northwest U16Districts Cup U164 0.50 -|      
  Russia U16 (all)International-Jr10 - -|      
  Buldogi St. Petersburg U16Russia U16 Finals5 - -|      
  Russia U17 (all)International-Jr1 -