Yaroslav Gets the Call Up for Predators, Kevin Lankinen Out vs. Canes

Due to an illness to Kevin Lankinen, the Predators have reported that Yaroslav Askarov has been called up from Milwaukee Admirals.
Jan 12, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Nashville Predators goalie Yaroslav Askarov (30) against the
Jan 12, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Nashville Predators goalie Yaroslav Askarov (30) against the / David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Backup goalie Kevin Lankinen will be sidelined due to illness for the Nashville Predators against the Carolina Hurricanes, bringing up Yaroslav Askarov to fill the role behind Juuse Saros.

Askarov has already been confirmed as the backup to Saros. It's unclear how long Lankinen will be out for, so there's still a possibility that Askarov could get a start.

There is a back-to-back situation coming up this weekend for the Predators as they'll be on the road to take on the Detroit Red Wings and the Washington Capitals.

Askarov Gets the Unexpected NHL Call Up, Could Start this Weekend

Sometimes these illnesses can pass by quickly, and other times it could keep a player out for longer. Lankinen is listed as day-to-day so it doesn't appear to be anything that will keep him out of commission for too long.

Askarov has just one career start in the NHL, which came on January 12, 2023 against the Montreal Canadiens. A wild game where Askarov gave up two goals in the first period, but then gradually got locked in to make 31 saves on 35 shots. He did take the loss.

It's been a decent, but not great, season for Askarov with the Admirals so far in 2023-24. He has a 2.45 GAA and .908 save percentage, which is similar to his first season with the Admirals. His GAA has improved slightly.

There has been a lot of speculation on what the Predators will do with their goaltenders at the trade deadline. Some opposing fans out there are still living on a prayer that Saros will be put on the trade market by General Manager Barry Trotz.

Lankinen also remains a trade possibility if the Predators feel comfotable enough calling up Askarov full-time for the remainder of the season. Furthermore, Lankinen will be a UFA this coming offseason. He was re-signed to a one year deal in the 2023 offseason to be Saros' backup again after a commendable first year.

Lankinen has regressed a bit this year, with a 3.16 GAA, .900 save percentage and a -1.3 Goals Saved Above Expected. Down significantly from his 2022-23 totals.

It's been nearly two weeks since Lankinen's last start, which was a rough outing for him against Carolina giving up five goals, but the Predators delivered offensively with six goals and the overtime winner by Filip Forsberg.

Obviously we hope Lankinen gets back to feeling better soon, but it would be rather intriguing to see Askarov get a start against either Detroit or Washington this weekend in the back-to-back situation.

The Predators really need a strong bounce-back game after completely falling apart against the Dallas Stars before the brief holiday break.