The Washington Capitals have signed 21-year-old Russian goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a three-year entry level contract.
Samsonov’s contract will carry an average annual value of $925,000.
The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a three-year entry-level contract beginning in the 2018-19 season. Samsonov's contract will carry an average annual value of $925,000. #ALLCAPS https://t.co/iU5BwKBV1h
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) May 4, 2018
Samsonov was drafted 22nd overall by Washington in the 2015 NHL Draft, spending the past three seasons playing with his hometown team Magnitogorsk Metallurg in the KHL. In 26 appearances this season, Samsonov posted a .926 save percentage and 2.31 GAA.
The 6’3″, 205-pound goaltender made his name known at the 2017 World Junior Championships, posting a .930 save percentage in six games to lead Russia to a bronze medal and earning World Junior All Star Team honors.
Over the course of his KHL career, Samsonov posted a 33-16-9 record with a 2.20 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and seven shutouts.
Capitals’ current backup netminder Philipp Grubauer is slated to become a restricted free agent July 1, so it’ll be interesting to see how this signing effects Grubauer’s future in Washington. Grubauer started the first two games of Washington’s 2018 first-round playoff series against the Blue Jackets, getting burned for eight goals in consecutive losses. The team went back to Braden Holtby for Game 3 and haven’t looked back since. They are currently tied 2-2 in their second-round playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Samsonov will attend the 2018 Capitals Development Camp in June at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.