Andrei Vasilevski Staying in Russa, Florida Panthers Set to Sign Michael Houser, Other Notes
Photo courtesy of Keith Srakocic / AP
By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)
Over the past few weeks there has been a lot of speculation surrounding several goaltenders who currently play in the Ontario Hockey League or who’s rights are owned by an OHL team. Will Andrei Vasilevski come to Mississauga? Will any NHL team take a chance on Michael Houser? Today, those questions and more were answered.
I’ll start with Tampa Bay Lightning prospect and Russian netminder Andrei Vasilevski, who was recently drafted by the Mississauga Steelheads, formerly Mississauga St. Michaels Majors, in the 2012 CHL Import Draft.
According to multiple reports from Russia, Vasilevski will not be coming over to Mississauga to play for the Steelheads this season. I’ve been told by someone with knowledge of the situation that Vasilevski is still under contract in Russia and that it was obviously a major factor in Vasilevski not coming to the OHL.
I’m sure the Steelheads are disappointed that Vasilevski is not coming over, but with Spencer Martin, who was one of six OHL players named to the “A List” for next year’s draft by Central Scouting, between the pipes, they should be just fine.
In other news, London Knights goaltender Michael Houser, who was named OHL’s most outstanding player and CHL goaltender of the year for his efforts this past season, is reportedly set to sign an entry-level contract with the Florida Panthers.
Houser went 46-15-1 this past season while posting a .925 save percentage and leading the OHL in saves. He then carried the Knights to an OHL Championship while posting video game like numbers. In 19 playoff games, Houser posted a 16-2-1 record while sporting a 2.25 goals against average and .928 save percentage.
Despite posting those numbers and leading a very young Knights team to an OHL Championship, he was once again passed over in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
His stellar play, however, did land him a camp invite with the Panthers which he apparently took advantage of.
Houser, who has accomplished pretty much everything an OHL goaltender can accomplish, is finally getting his shot with an NHL team.
It is unknown where he will be playing next year, but he is eligible to return to the Knights for one more season as an overage player should the Panthers feel it’s best for his development.
Last but not least, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Oscar Dansk, who was drafted by the Erie Otters in the 2012 CHL Import Draft, is expected to report to Erie and play with them in the OHL this season.
That is certainly great news for the Otters as they allowed the most goals against (338) in the league last year by a large margin. Dansk should help stabilize a young, revamped Otters team that hopes to take the next step forward in their rebuild phase and make the playoffs this season.
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