Predators prospect pulls out hilarious celebration following 45-save win
Achievement season is always in full swing for the Milwaukee Admirals and Yaroslav Askarov.
On Friday night, the Nashville Predators’ top prospect had a draw clinic when the Admirals beat the Rockford Icehogs 2-1 in a shootout after 45 saves by Askarov.
While the pucks were flying furiously into the goal all evening, the Omsk team coped with the task, keeping the admirals in it and helping them take away two points. However, Askarov’s most impressive performance may have been his post-game camera, which caught the attention of the hockey world.
Askarov was set up from the start, including a stellar 2v1 save after rebounding that required fast reflexes and even faster recovery to upset the opponent.
While the Icehogs eventually revealed the Predators’ 2020 first-round pick, denying him a third shutout of the season that would have pushed him to a tie and second in the AHL, his pristine .978 shooting percentage in the case really earned him receives the first star of the evening.
The game also marks Askarov’s third consecutive strong showing, who had an uneven AHL rookie season coming from the KHL. The 20-year-old conceded only one goal in each of those games, saving 94 of 97 shots for a .969 shooting percentage.
Askarov has long been regarded as one of Russia’s most impressive young goaltenders – his 0.951 KHL shooting percentage at age 18 ranks third in history among goaltenders with at least five games played, ahead of the likes of Ilya Sorokin and Igor Shesterkin — and seemingly end up usurping Yuse Saros as the Predators’ future goaltender. That time may be far off, though, as his NHL debut for Nashville earlier this season didn’t go as planned, allowing four goals on 35 shots in a 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in January.
This season in the AHL, Askarov is 16-9-5 with a 2.60 GAA and a .909 shooting percentage.
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