When Ilya Samsonov arrived at the Washington Capitals’ development camp this summer, nearly everything was foreign. The 21-year-old couldn’t speak English and the practices were longer and more intense than he was used to. Even his equipment was new after his own goalie gear got lost during his travel across the Atlantic.
The camp was an early reminder that although the Capitals have high expectations for their 2015 first-round pick (22nd overall), he’ll have to first navigate through a potentially challenging maiden campaign in North America. “He understands there’s a transition,” said Washington goaltending coach Scott Murray, “and there are things that are different from where he was to where he is now.”
After three years spent primarily as the backup for his hometown Magnitogorsk ...
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