The Washington Capitals have signed goaltender Ilya Samsonov to a three-year entry-level contract beginning in the 2018-19 season, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Samsonov's contract will carry an average annual value of $925,000.
The Capitals selected Samsonov in the first round, 22nd-overall, in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Samsonov, 21, recorded a 12-9-1 record with a 2.31 goals against average and a .926 save percentage in 26 regular season games and a 1-2 record with a 2.30 goals against average and a .913 save percentage in five playoff games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season. The Magnitogorsk, Russia, native also represented Russia in two international games, recording a 0.99 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.
The 6'3", 205-pound goaltender played in 27 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the 2016-17 season, finishing with a 15-3-5 record, a 2.13 goals against average and a .936 save percentage, twice earning KHL Rookie of the Week honors. Samsonov also appeared in the 2017 World Junior Championship with Russia and recorded a 2.11 goals against average and a .930 save percentage in six games, leading Russia to a bronze medal and earning World Junior All Star Team honors. Samsonov appeared in 19 games for Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the 2015-16 season, recording a 2.04 goals against average and a .925 save percentage. Additionally, Samsonov played in six playoff games, helping Metallurg win the Gagarin Cup. Samsonov also won a silver medal at the World Junior Championship, appearing in two games for Russia with a 1.00 goals against average and a .956 save percentage. In 87 career KHL games, Samsonov posted a 33-16-9 record with a 2.20 goals against average, a .929 save percentage and seven shutouts.
Internationally, Samsonov represented Russia at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge, posting a 2-1-0 record, a 1.67 goals-against average and .952 save percentage at the tournament. He recorded a 46-save shutout in the bronze-medal game to lead Russia to a 2-0 win over Canada East. Samsonov also represented Russia at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and recorded two wins and a .942 save percentage to earn top goaltender honors at the 2015 Under-18 Five Nations tournament.
Samsonov is scheduled to attend the 2018 Capitals Development Camp in June at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.