The 2022 NHL Draft is fast approaching. They elected to keep their first-round draft selection for the first time in what seems like forever. But that hasn’t held them back before, with late round picks like Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point. With the draft fast approaching, who is a Tampa Bay Lightning draft fit?
Tampa Bay Lightning: What Goalies Do They Draft?
Before looking at the three goalies that were positive fits in the entire class, Last Word wants to shout-out Will Scouch for releasing his draft class data, in which 76 goalies were organized. That allowed Kyle Pereira to input all 76 into his draft fit study for this article. Additionally, it’s important to say that this is a weak class of goalies in terms of their being a superstar talent. Without further ado, let’s look at the averages.
“I don’t think we’re done chasing Stanley Cups here. We’re set up to be a really competitive team for the foreseeable future.”
– Julien BriseBois pic.twitter.com/rWtdyOdgqx
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 28, 2022
The Lightning have drafted eight goalies since Al Murray was made head of scouting and Julien BriseBois was brought into the organization. The average size of those goalies is just shy of 6’3” and 199 pounds. Other averages include a pre-draft save percentage of 0.917 across all leagues, and a goals against average of 2.36. Win percentage was also included, across all leagues, with a pre-draft win percentage of 55.5%. The best goalie in terms of pre-draft stats is Andrei Vasilevskiy (0.928 save percentage, 1.88 goals against average) and the worst stats belong to Hugo Alnefelt (0.902) and Connor Ingram (2.64). The best win percentage was 62.5% for Adam Wilcox, while the worst was 48.7% for Ingram. With those parameters set, let’s see the fits. (Other averages taken into consideration is U18 World Juniors performance, total pre-draft league games played and pre-draft league wins.)
Tampa Bay Lightning Draft Fit #1: Yegor Guskov, Goalie, Loko Yaroslavl
The top goalie fit in the draft is Guskov, who stands at 5’11” and 201 pounds. He has posted a 12-7-2 record in the MHL this season, with a 0.919 save percentage and 2.77 goals against average. Throughout his career, at least those that were tracked by Elite Prospects, his worst save percentage was back in 2018-19, where he recorded an 0.888 save percentage in the NMHL. Outside of that year, he has not posted a save percentage lower than 0.919. Before this season, his save percentage did not dip below 0.944 in the MHL level (two prior seasons).
If drafted by the Lightning, Guskov would set new highs in win percentage (72.6%), save percentage (0.938), and goals against average (1.77). He was also above average in weight, MHL games played (84) and MHL wins (61). The thing preventing Guskov from being an even better fit is the fact he did not play in the U18 World Juniors. Plus, he would set a new low with his height. Guskov is an overage player, at 20 years old, but is not ranked by anyone, including Central Scouting. He could be had late in the draft.
Tampa Bay Lightning Fit #2: Kirill Samsonov, Goalie, Krasnaya Armiya Moskva
The second-best fit is another MHL product in Samsonov. Standing at 5’9” and 150 pounds is another smaller goalie. This season, he recorded a 25-6-3 record with a 0.939 save percentage and a 1.66 goals against average. At the MHL level, Samsonov has not recorded a save percentage lower than 0.920 at the MHL level.
If drafted by the Lightning, Samsonov would record new highs in MHL win percentage (70.4%), save percentage (0.930), and goals against average (1.72). He is also above average in MHL games played (81) and MHL wins (57). What holds Samsonov back from being the top goalie fit in this class is the fact that he did not play in the U18 World Juniors, and would set a new low with his height and weight. Like Guskov, Samsonov is a 20 year old overage player, and also is not ranked by Central Scouting.
Tampa Bay Lightning Fit #3: Hugo Havelid, Goalie, Linkoping HC J20
Finally, with the last positive fit among 76 goalies in this class, Havelid is again a smaller goalie at 5’10” and 174 pounds. This season, he recorded a 21-7-0 record with the J20 squad. He recorded a 0.920 save percentage and 1.82 goals against average. His worst save percentage ever recorded was 0.891. That was in a six-game stint at the U16 level in Sweden back in 2018-19. Since then, he’s posted a 0.933, 0.953, 0.927, 0.942, 0.921, 0.921, and 0.920 across three seasons and seven different levels. Those levels are the J20 Nationell and J20 SuperElit, J18 Allsvenskan, J18 Elit and J18 Region, and U16 Elit and U16 SM. He has consistently posted strong numbers regardless of the competition.
If drafted by the Lightning, he would set new highs in win percentage (75%), J20 goals against average (1.82), World Juniors save percentage (0.940) and World Juniors goals against average (2.01). Havelid would also be above average in World Juniors games played (six), and J20 save percentage (0.920). What stops him from being the top fit is the fact he is below average in J20 games played (28) and wins (21). Add the fact that Tampa Bay has never drafted out of the Swedish leagues as well. Additionally, he would set new lows with his height and weight. Havelid is one of the top goalies. He has been ranked between 60th (The Puck Authority) and 204th (Recruit Scouting). He’s also the second-ranked goalie in Europe (per Central Scouting). He would be an excellent Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick in the mid-rounds.