Report: Samsonov, Capitals Have Verbal Agreement in Place, Expect to Sign Entry-Level Contract in Time for 2018-19

The Washington Capitals have a verbal commitment with prospect goaltender Ilya Samsonov, KHL Insider Aivis Kalniņš reported Tuesday. This came while Capitals’ GM Brian MacLellan was in Russia talking to the 20-year old goaltender. Samsonov will likely sign with the Capitals prior to next season, though Samsonov could sign as early as April 30 and report to Hershey.

The Capitals drafted Samsonov 22nd overall in 2015, the season after he won MVP of the World Jr. Championships. He had 2.67 goals against average and a .934 save percentage in six games during the tournament.

In 17 games with the KHL’s Magnitka this season, Samsonov has a 2.87 goals against average and a .909 save percentage after recording a 2.13 goals against average and a .936 save percentage last year. Samsonov has already been injured twice this season.

He will likely start out in Hershey for a conditioning stint before coming up to the Capitals. Braden Holtby is signed for three more seasons, Philipp Grubauer can become a restricted free agent this offseason, and the Capitals already have Pheonix Copley in the pipeline in Hershey.

The Capitals will hold development camp around late June/early July so Samsonov could make his D.C. debut then.

If Samsonov signs another KHL contract before reaching an agreement with Washington, the Capitals will no longer have his rights. The Capitals had the same kind of issues with Evgeny Kuznetsov a few years ago. The Capitals drafted Kuznetsov 26th overall in 2010 and he didn’t sign with the Capitals until 2014.

Samsonov is arguably the best goaltender prospect and this is great news for the Capitals.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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6 Responses to Report: Samsonov, Capitals Have Verbal Agreement in Place, Expect to Sign Entry-Level Contract in Time for 2018-19

  1. Thebeard says:

    He was already at development camp 2 years ago*

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