Arturs Silovs will represent Latvia at World Championships, along with another Ian Clark-found goaltender in Elvis Merzlikins
Photo credit:James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
Vancouver Canucks goaltending prospect Arturs Silovs is headed for the World Champonships to represent Team Latvia, the club announced Friday afternoon.
The 21-year-old Latvian netminder has tremendous upside that fans got a glimpse of in the preseason when he turned in a solid performance in a Canucks win over the Seattle Kraken.
Through 10 starts with the Abbotsford Canucks this season, Silovs posted an .888 save percentage, but after being loaned to the ECHL, Silovs posted an eye-popping .920 save percentage through 10 starts.
The Canucks organization is extremely high on him, and as you may have read on this site before, you should probably be higher on him, too.
Silovs won’t be the only Latvian netminder who was drafted under the watch of Canucks goaltending coach Ian Clark, either, as Columbus Blue Jackets netminder Elvis Merzlikins is expected to be Latvia’s starting netminder.
Last year, I spoke with Clark about his thought process in drafting goaltenders like Merzlikins and Silovs, who most scouts look at and see not much more than goaltenders with plenty of structural flaws. Here’s what he had to say.
“If you go back in my history in Columbus, when we acquired Sergei Bobrovsky he was a guy that had major structural things in his game that he had to iron out, but his athletic ability, his work habits, his competitiveness, his natural athleticism was incredible,” explained Clark.
“And so what did we do? We brought a more cohesive package to his game. Then we ended up with Joonas Korpisalo, and what did we do? We had another goaltender with imperfections so we took all that athleticism and all those intangibles, and we brought a more cohesive package to his game.
“And then we had drafted Elvis Merzlikins. Again, a wild horse as I call them. Goalies that have all these great intangible assets, but maybe structurally, there’s some blemishes there and maybe that doesn’t appeal to some, but it appeals to me. And so this is kind of just my philosophical way of thinking and going about my business.”
So far, Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Sweden) is the only other Canucks player who has announced that he will be going to the World Championships, which begins on May 13th.
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