Nashville Predators general manager David Poile stuck his neck out BIG TIME in selecting Russian goaltender Yaroslav Askarov 10th overall at the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Yes, Askarov was universally seen as the best goaltender available in the draft according to scouts. Yes, the kids has crazy talent. But... let's get real. He's a goalie and he plays in the KHL. These two facts put Askarov's NHL future very much in doubt.
It's rare for a goaltender to be selected in the top 10 picks of the draft these days as goaltending in and of itself is so difficult to project. For every slam dunk pick like Carey Price or Marc Andre Fleury, there's a Rick DiPietro or Al Montoya out there as well. Add in the fact that Askarov's KHL team SKA St. Petersburg is the richest team in the KHL and has a vested interest in keeping the kid in their system for life... well selecting Askarov was a giant risk.
Now, having said all that... this kid is legit.
I mean, just look at this insane highlight reel:
Oh... and apparently the kid can dangle, as well.
Check out Askarov pulling off a sick spin-o-rama behind the net from this past weekend:
Still not impressed? The 18 year old has a 0.94 goals against average and .963 save percentage in six games to start the season... INSANE. Here's hoping Poile can work his magic and get this kid in the NHL sooner rather than later.