Three Bolts prospects headed to World Championships in Belarus
Tampa Bay Lightning prospects Kristers Gudlevskis, Andrei Vasilevskii and Dmitry Korobov have been added to Latvia, Russia and Belarus’ rosters, respectively, for the IIHF World Championships being held from May 9-25 in Minsk, Belarus.
Quickly becoming a phenomenon since being drafted by the Bolts in the fifth-round, 124th overall, at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, Gudlevskis became what is believed to be the first goaltender in history to play in the ECHL, AHL, NHL and Olympics all in one season. Gudlevskis, 21, most recently represented Latvia on the international stage during the 2014 Olympics by nearly eliminating Canada from medal contention. He also appeared in relief for the Bolts in two playoff games this year.
Vasilevskii, 19, represented Russia in January’s World Junior Championships and posted a 1.83 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage in six games en route to a Bronze Medal. The netminder and first-round draft pick (19th overall) by the Bolts also competed in the World Juniors in 2013 and 2012, as well as the World U-18 Championships in 2011.
Vasilevskii signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Lightning on Tuesday and all signs indicate that he will make the trek to North America next season.
This will be Korobov’s fourth time representing Belarus at the World Championships. Most recently playing on the international stage in 2011-12, the blueliner collected three assists in seven games for Belarus.
The 25-year-old spent the majority of the 2013-14 season with the Lightning’s AHL affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, collecting 26 points (three goals, 23 assists) in 70 games, while recording one assist in three games with Tampa Bay.
Belarus and Russia open up the tournament on Friday, while Latvia begins play Saturday.
NOTEWORTHY: Bolts forwards Tyler Johnson and Richard Panik will play at the World Championship for USA and Slovakia, respectively... Tom Kurvers, the Lightning senior advisor to the general manager, is part of the advisory group for Team USA… Johnson scored a pair of goals yesterday as Team USA defeated Germany, 3-1, in a pre-tournament exhibition game played in Nuremberg, Germany.