According to a report from KHL reporter and all around Russian hockey insider Aivis Kalnins, KHL defenseman Alexei Vasilevsky, brother of Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevsky, is in contract negotiations with at least three NHL teams. According to Kalnins, it’s believed that the Lightning are one of the teams vying for the blue liner.
Hearing KHL defensemen Alexei Vasilevskiy (brother of Andrei) has three NHL teams expressing interest in him. It’s believed that the #tblightning is one of the teams involved.
The undrafted 25 year old defenseman has played the past three seasons with Yekaterinburg Automobilist and is currently an unrestricted free-agent having never caught on with an NHL club up to this point in his career. He’s two years older than his younger brother who absolutely stormed onto the scene in 2017-18 and earned himself a Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender. There’s no denying that the family has elite level talent, but can the elder Vasilevsky find success in the NHL, as well? Perhaps alongside his brother?
The elder Vasilevsky put up a stellar 10 goals and 20 points in 54 games with Automobilist in 2017-18 and has shown steady improvement over the past few seasons. He may not ever achieve the level of success that his brother has thus far in his NHL career, but he has all the makings of a serviceable NHL defenseman. As of now, we don’t not have any insight into who else besides the Lightning may be interested in acquiring Vasilevsky’s services.
As it currently stands, the Lightning’s defense corps is absolutely stacked. If Vasilevsky does indeed elect to join his brother and sign a deal with the Lightning, he’ll have his work cut out for him to make the team’s opening day roster. The likes of Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Anton Stralman, Mikhail Sergachev, Dan Girardi, Braydon Coburn, Slater Koekkoek and Jake Dotchin are all miles above Vasilevsky on the team’s defensive depth chart.
Still, the 6’4”, 200 pound Vasilevky could be an affordable and prudent defensive replacement for a high priced veteran like Girardi or Coburn. Then again… he could sign elsewhere in the NHL where he may have more of a clear path to regular NHL minutes. Time will tell.
Source: Aivis Kalnins
Photo Credit: Zuma Press