It was a bit of a mystery last week when Philadelphia Flyers prospect Valeri Vasiliev stopped showing up on the ice for his Russian junior club, MHC Spartak Moscow. We now know where he went.
Vasiliev, selected by the Flyers with the 201st pick in the 2012 draft, has made the jump to North America. He'll be joining the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks, the league confirmed Monday, although it's unclear exactly when Vasiliev will join his new club. He didn't play in wins against Green Bay and Sioux Falls this past weekend, the start of the USHL season.
The 18-year-old defenseman fell to the Flyers in the seventh round of the draft, mostly thanks to an injury that limited him to just 18 games with Spartak a year ago. He's a big, stay-at-home defenseman, weighing in at 6'3, 201 pounds. It'll be interesting to see how his game transitions to the North American rink. One would think that his big size would be more beneficial on the smaller rink, but we'll have to see how he progresses once here.
Vasiliev played just seven games with Spartak before leaving. Once in the USHL, he'll become the 18th NHL-drafted player in the league's ranks. No other Flyers prospects currently play in the league.