The Dean’s List would like to congratulate Sweden on winning the Gold Medal in a thrilling fashion against the defending champions, Team Russia, as both nations provided us prospect junkies with plenty of talented players to watch. Despite Canada not competing in a Gold Medal match for the first time in eleven years the Sweden-Russia final was just as exciting as if the Canucks were actually there. Prior to the 2012 Under-20 World Junior Championship (WJC), The Dean’s List took an in-depth look at a few 2012 NHL draft eligible players representing their home nations in the competition.
These teenage hockey players showcased their talents and showed the world why they are considered the elite of the upcoming draft class. Every year in the WJC, players use the opportunity to improve their draft stock while others struggle to leave their mark and see their stock decline. On top of the risers and fallers, there are always a few lesser-known draft eligible players that catch the eyes of the scouts improving their draft stock and the 2012 draft class is no different. The Dean’s List recaps the performances of several elite players entering the 2012 NHL Entry Draft as well as introduces you a few players relatively unknown. Beginning with the lesser-knowns, let’s get on with it…
Andrei Vasilevski (G, Tolpar Ufa/Russia)
When an underage netminder nudges out two older goaltenders for the starting position on the defending World Junior Championship roster then it is time to take notice. Andrei Vasilevski is a ’94-born goaltender starting to gain a reputation as a clutch goaltender on the international stage coming into the tournament but he’s solidified that now. Blessed with great size at six-foot-three-inches, Vasilevski posted a tournament leading .953 save percentage and 2.01 goals-against-average (2nd) and two shutouts to lead the tournament. In the semi-final game versus Canada Coach Bragin relieved Vasilevski during Canada’s surging comeback and replaced him with teammate and 2012-eligible Andrei Makarov (no slouch either) but the young Russian Vasilevski should hold his head high as his two player of the game nominations and impressive showing at the 2012 WJC will certainly improve his draft stock.