2020 NHL Draft

2019 Ivan Hlinka Tournament

Steve Kournianos  |  08/10/2019 |  Nashville  |  

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NASHVILLE (The Draft Analyst) — The intense weight of a decade’s worth of misses and disappointments for Team Russia at the under-18 level fell on the shoulders of their brightest goaltending prospect. And boy did Yaroslav Askarov deliver.

In the championship game of the annual Ivan Hlinka tournament — hockey’s premiere summer prospect showcase, hosted by the Czech Republic and Slovakia — Askarov made 35 saves as Russia survived Canada’s vaunted attack to claim a 3-2 victory for their first under-18 hockey title of any kind in over 12 years.

Expected to be the first goalie chosen in the 2020 NHL Draft, Askarov turned aside 13 shots in the final period, including a frantic sequence in the stages as Russia clung to leads of 2-1 and 3-2. Vasili Ponomaryov, also a prospect slated for the first round, broke a 1-1 deadlock with a wraparound goal midway through the second period, and linemate Alexander Pashin scored a critical insurance marker in the third for his second of the game.

But it was the confident netminding skills of Askarov that made stand up, thus securing Russia’s first gold medal at a major under-18 hockey tournament since 2007 IIHF world championship, and first Hlinka title since 1995, when the competition was named the Pacific Cup. Askarov came into the Hlinka already boasting a resume with multiple wins over elite programs, such as last year’s U.S. team that featured 2018 top pick Jack Hughes. Now he can add Team Canada to his growing hit list, as he stymied an attack that came into the title game outscoring their previous opponents 21-1 in the preliminary round and snuck past Sweden in a 3-2 shootout triumph in the semifinals. By delivering on his hurculean assignment of neutralizing one of Canada’s finest rosters in the history of their program, Askarov continues to improve a reputation and skill set that may see him go higher in the first round in the June draft. He finished the tournament with a sparkling 4-0-0 record with a 1.25 goals-against average and save percentage of .960, and stopped 119 shots in four games.

Results

Date Round Game
8/5/19 PRE FIN-CAN 0-6
8/5/19 PRE RUS-USA 6-2
8/5/19 PRE CZE-SUI 4-3
8/5/19 PRE SVK-SWE 2-3
8/6/19 PRE CAN-SUI 8-0
8/6/19 PRE SWE-RUS 0-3
8/6/19 PRE CZE-FIN 1-5
8/6/19 PRE SVK-USA 3-4
8/7/19 PRE SUI-FIN 0-6
8/7/19 PRE USA-SWE 4-5
8/7/19 PRE CZE-CAN 1-7
8/7/19 PRE SVK-RUS 1-2
8/9/19 5th Place CZE-USA 4-3
8/9/19 7th Place SVK-SUI 7-5
8/9/19 SF CAN-SWE 3-2
8/9/19 SF RUS-FIN 4-1
8/10/19 Bronze FIN-SWE 1-5
8/10/19 Gold RUS-CAN 3-2

2020 Draft Prospects