The Lightning had five prospects at the 2013 Under-20 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia, and four came away with medals.
Here’s a look how each prospect fared, and what their future might look like.
Nikita Kucherov, RW, Russia
7 Games Played, 5-3-8, +4, 4 PIM, 21 SOG
While Kucherov may only remember his missed shootout attempt against Sweden in the semifinals right now, years from now will look at his Bronze medal and be satisfied with his play throughout the competition. Kucherov was arguably Russia’s best forward in the tournament, though Mikhail Grigorenko (Sabres) was the only forward named among the team’s three best by the coaches at tournament’s end. In the opinion of TSN commentator Ray Ferraro, Kucherov was the team’s best forward. He and Grigorenko were by far the most consistent and dangerous forwards for the Russians at the event, and the two were responsible for 14 points together.
Ufa 1 vs. Dynamo Moscow 0
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Ufa, Win, SO, 25/25, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals (KHL): 3 GP, 1-0-0, 1 SO, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals (MHL): 27 GP, 20-6-1, 3 SO, 1.93 GAA, .930 sv%
As if posting a shutout in his first KHL start of the season wasn't impressive enough, Andrey Vasilevskiy (pictured) also had the primary assist on the game's only goal in Ufa's 1-0 win over Dynamo Moscow. Vasilevskiy is fresh off his Bronze Medal winning performance with Russia in the U20 World Junior Championships. Ufa faces St. Petersburg next on Thursday.
Mytischi 0 vs. Cherepovets 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Win, SO, 17/17, 0.00 GAA, 1.000 sv%
Season totals: 40 GP, 21-17-2, 6 SO, 2.22 GAA, .920 sv%
Vasily Koshechkin kept the Lightning prospect shutout train rolling by stopping all 17 shots he faced in Severstal's 3-0 win over Mytischi. Ex-NHLer Niclas Bergfors, brother of former Lightning draft pick Henrik, had the game winning goal. Cherepovets plays Yaroslavl on Thursday.
Bratislava 4 vs. Chelyabinsk 3 (OT)
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, OT Win, 27/30, 2.87 GAA, .900 sv%
Season totals: 37 GP, 21-12-4, 4 SO, 2.08 GAA, .933 sv%
Nikita Nesterov, Chelyabinsk, 0-0-0, +1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Season totals (KHL): 26 GP, 0-0-0, +5, 8 PIM
Season totals (MHL): 1 GP, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM
NHLer Lubomir Vishnevsky had a pair of helpers to help lead Bratislava to a 4-3 overtime win over Chelyabinsk. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov played 14:26 in the match for Traktor in his first game back from the U20 World Junior Championships. Slovan plays Praha on Tuesday a week from now. Chelyabinsk gets that same Praha club first on Thursday.
Novgorod 5 vs. Cherepovets 3
Vasily Koshechkin, Cherepovets, Loss, 23/28, 5.11 GAA, .821 sv%
Season totals: 39 GP, 20-17-2, 5 SO, 2.27 GAA, .919 sv%
NHLer Alexander Semin had a goal in Novgorod's 5-3 win over Cherepovets. Cherepovets plays Mytischi next on Tuesday.
Bratislava 4 vs. Magnitogorsk 3 (SO)
Jaroslav Janus, Bratislava, SO Win, 35/38, 2.77 GAA, .921 sv%
Season totals: 36 GP, 20-12-4, 4 SO
Jaroslav Janus stopped 3 of 4 shooters in the penalty shot session to lift Bratislava to a 4-3 shootout win over Magnitogorsk.
Elsewhere, Nikita Nesterov was still out today for Chelyabinsk's 3-2 shootout loss to CSKA, following his Bronze Medal winning performance with Team Russia yesterday in Ufa at the U20 World Junior Championships.
Sweden 3 vs. Russia 2 (SO)
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 0-1-1, +1, 2 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 5-3-8, +5, 4 PIM
Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-3-3, +2, 2 PIM
Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 6 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, Shootout Loss, 38/41, 2.77 GAA, .927 sv%
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 3-0-1, 1 SO, 1.81 GAA, .950 sv%
Sweden's Sebastien Collberg scored the only goal of the penalty shot session to stamp his team's ticket to the Gold Medal Match in a 3-2 win over Russia. Russian goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy stopped 2 of 3 in the shootout for the shootout loss. Forward Nikita Kucherov assisted on Mikhail Grigorenko's goal in the Third Period to help force Overtime, but was stopped on Russia's last shootout attempt. Russia plays Canada on Saturday in the Bronze Medal Match after Team USA upended the Canadians 5-1 in the day's other Semifinal.
Kucherov currently sits tied for 4th in the tournament in scoring.
Switzerland 3 vs. Czech Republic 4 (OT)
Tanner Richard, Switzerland, 0-0-0, -1, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-4-4, +1, 2 PIM
Tomas Hertl's overtime goal lifted Czech Republic to a 4-3 win over Switzerland in their final game of the Round Robin. Switzerland overcame a 2 goal Third Period deficit to force extra time, but took their third after-regulation loss of the tournament. The Swiss finished in third place in Pool A after the Finns lost to Sweden today. They draw Russia on Wednesday in the opener of the Playoff Round.
Russia 1 vs. Canada 4
Nikita Kucherov, Russia, 1-0-1, +1, 0 PIM, 3 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 3-1-4, +3, 2 PIM
Nikita Nesterov, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 1 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-2-2, +2, 0 PIM
Artem Sergeev, Russia, 0-0-0, E, 0 PIM, 0 SOG
Tournament totals: 4 GP, 0-1-1, +1, 0 PIM
Andrey Vasilevskiy, Russia, DNP
Tournament totals: 2 GP, 2-0-0, 1 SO, 0.96 GAA, .973 sv%
Nikita Kucherov scored Russia's only goal in their 4-1 loss to Canada. Defenseman Nikita Nesterov was named Russia's best player in the defeat. Andrey Vasilevskiy sat backup to Andrei Makarov, who made 44 saved for the Russians. Russia finished in second in Pool B. They face the Swiss Wednesday in the Playoff Round.