Predators sign Russian goalie Askarov to entry-level deal

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Nashville Predators have signed Iaroslav Askarov to a three-year entry level contract, two years after making him the sixth Russian-born goalie taken in the NHL draft first round at No. 11 overall.

The 19-year-old spent most of the 2021-22 season with the VHL’s Neva Saint Petersburg in his native country, posting a 5-2-2 record with a 2.57 goals-against average in nine games. Askarov also appeared six times for SKA Saint Petersburg in the KHL with a 1.81 GAA and .913 save percentage. He was 5-4-0 with a shutout while posting a 1.21 GAA and .951 save percentage in nine KHL appearances the previous season.

The 6-foot-3 right-catcher has recently represented Russia in the World Junior Championship, earning a silver medal in 2020. He earned gold in the 2019 Under-18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup — making 35 saves in the final against Canada — and helped Russia win gold in the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

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