2020-21 Team: SKA-Varyagi im. Morozova / MHL
Date of Birth: Aug 22, 2003
Place of Birth: St. Petersburg, RUS
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 179 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
When you look at a goaltending prospect like Kirill Gerasimyuk, you can’t help but start drawing comparisons to other players who remind you of his situation. In this case, we have a Russian goaltender who is playing strong in the MHL with a path to the KHL that could emerge as a legitimate NHL starter in the coming years.
In this scenario, I am drawing comparisons to goalies like Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin, who were both drafted and stashed by their respective franchises, only to develop their game and dominate the KHL to the point that they couldn’t be ignored. Now, years after they were drafted, they are taking on NHL ice-time, while looking to be the future of their franchise in the net.
While it may be a bit unfair to compare Gerasimyuk to these already established players, there is reason to believe that he can be the real deal. Throughout the 2020-21 season, he has impressed while playing in the MHL for a team that can be best described as mediocre, posting a .931 save percentage and a 2.59 goals-against average in 27 games played. While this ice time may not be against the highest-end players, he has a clear path to earn starts in the VHL and potentially work his way into a KHL gig.
From there, the sky is the limit for Gerasimyuk. He has the build and toolkit to become a legitimate KHL starter, and if he continues to develop his game, he may be ready to make the jump to the NHL and take over a starting role immediately. Sure, that would be a ways down the road, but as we are seeing again and again, having a goalie like this in your system can pay dividends if you are willing to give them the time to develop.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Kirill Gerasimyuk – NHL Draft Projection
When it comes to a player like Gerasimyuk who is considered to be in the second tier of goaltending prospects, his draft range will likely be determined by his peers. If there is a run on goaltenders early, he could be selected as soon as the mid-second round. However, if teams shy away from these selections, he could easily fall to the fourth-round or later.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Given his abilities, though, it would be a surprise to see him slip much farther than the mid-third round. By that point in the draft, teams are more likely to take a chance on a goaltender who has starter upside but will need a few more years to grow into their game.
Gerasimyuk has a calming demeanor to his game, he is methodical with each movement and does not over pursue the puck. He can quickly move from side to side using his lower-body strength to push his body where it needs to go… There’s enough positives in his game to see him as one of the better goalies in the draft.Austin Broad (From Kirill Gerasimyuk Game Report, FCHockey, Apr. 20, 2021)
He has quick-twitch reflexes and plays with his attention level on high. His head is active, allowing him to see through or around traffic so that he can track the play…Derek Neumeier (From Kirill Gerasimyuk Game Report, FCHockey, Feb. 7, 2021)
- Strong presence in net
- Tracks and plays the puck well
- Great side to side movement
- Often steals games for his team
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
While he may have one of the best toolkits for a goalie in the draft, Gerasimyuk will need a lot of time to develop his game, especially against stronger opponents. He has little experience in the VHL or internationally, meaning that he could just be showcasing strong statistics against weaker opponents.
As more European goalies cut their teeth in the KHL and their respective junior leagues, you start to see a clear path for a player like Gerasimyuk to the NHL. He needs to be drafted by the right team, of course, but he should at least be competing for a starting AHL role in a few years.
However, depending on how long he sticks around in the KHL, he could be ready for a full-time starting role in the NHL as soon as he makes his way to North America. Due to this, he would be the perfect selection for a franchise that is set in net right now but could use some depth in say four to five years.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 5/5
Gerasimyuk can be considered one of those goalie prospects with legitimate boom or bust potential. He could easily get selected in the early to mid-third-round and never make the jump to North America to play hockey. If he decides to stay in Russia and play in the KHL, he should still have a long a fruitful career, as he has the toolkit to be a nightly starter at any level.
If he makes the jump, though, he could be one of the steals of the draft. While he still needs a lot of time to develop his overall game, if he gets consistent playing time in the KHL, he could become that seasoned veteran capable of taking on full-time starting duties in the NHL by age 25.
Kirill Gerasimyuk Statistics
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.