Nashville Predators: Catching Up With the Top Prospects This Season

Yaroslav Askarov (No.30) of SKA Saint Petersburg seen during the 2021-22 KHL Regular season of the Kontinental Hockey League between SKA Saint Petersburg and Jokerit Helsinki at the Ice Sports Palace.Final score; SKA Saint Petersburg 2:0 Jokerit Helsinki. (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Yaroslav Askarov (No.30) of SKA Saint Petersburg seen during the 2021-22 KHL Regular season of the Kontinental Hockey League between SKA Saint Petersburg and Jokerit Helsinki at the Ice Sports Palace.Final score; SKA Saint Petersburg 2:0 Jokerit Helsinki. (Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /
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Yaroslav Askarov
(Photo by Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Yaroslav Askarov, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL/VHL)

The pressure on Yaroslav Askarov is immense as he’s already been tagged as the next great goaltender for the Nashville Predators, and maybe even supplant Juuse Saros eventually. That’s how ultra talented this guy is.

Askarov’s numbers in limited action this season are holding up to his normal high level. His GAA in four KHL games this season is at a ridiculous 1.53, while boasting a .respectable .925 save percentage. He’s also seen some action in the VHL, the minor league of the KHL.

The interesting dilemma arising for the Predators is if Askarov keeps rising the ranks and retaining this insanely strong numbers, there’s going to be an interesting decision to make with Saros.

Saros just signed a four-year contract, and it’s kind of the perfect length to wait for when Askarov will be ready in the NHL as a full-time starter. At that point, the Predators will have to either move on from Saros or offer Askarov in a trade, which would bring a valuable player in return.

That’s way on down the road, but Askarov is definitely continuing his outstanding progress at age 19 overseas in the KHL and VHL. He’ll compete in the Karjala Cup in Finland in November: