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So who is this guy? Get to know Kristers Gudlevskis

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Before his unbelievable 55-save performance, Latvia’s Kristers Gudlevskis wasn’t exactly a household name for most hockey fans.

In fact, Gudlveskis didn’t even start when Latvia upset Switzerland 3-1 in the qualification round.

So who exactly is this unheralded goalie, who almost eliminated Canada from the Olympic hockey tournament on Wednesday?

Name: Kristers Gudlevskis

Born: Aizkraukle, Latvia

Age: 21

Height: 6’3, Weight: 189 lbs.

Gudlevskis is the second Latvian goalie (the other being Arturs Irbe) to be drafted to the National Hockey League. Coincidentally, it was Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman who drafted the Latvian netminder with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the fifth round (124th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. Yzerman knows this prospect well.

Gudlevskis spent some time in the Lightning camp in the pre-season before he was assigned to the Florida Everblades of the ECHL to start the year. After a couple of starts, Gudlevskis got called up to the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch, an affiliate of the Lightning, where he posted a shutout in his debut with the club. He was sent back to Florida, after just four games, where he posted very solid numbers (7-4-0, 1.83 GAA, .925 save percentage).

Gudlevskis finally got the full-time call to Syracuse on Dec. 7. While his numbers (11-8-2, 2.69 GAA, .900 save percentage) don’t look great at first glance, he certainly has had his bright spots with the team. He was named the CCM/AHL player of the week on Jan. 13 after stopping 73 of 75 shots and registering back-to-back shutouts for the Crunch.

He even got an emergency call up to Tampa Bay when Ben Bishop and Cedric Desjardins were hurt so he’s certainly been on the radar of Yzerman for quite some time.

Gudlevskis has had prior experience representing his country in international tournaments. He started for Latvia at the world championships in 2013 where he posted a 2-2 record and was named one of the five best players on his team.

The Lightning were once desperate for a goaltender. Now, they may have more than just Bishop on their hands.

...this 'guy' might not have the same success rate in the NHL with today's performance but he did make a heck of a name for himself. Hope you had a good read :)

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^yep...seems like they're an average team but then out of nowhere, these players just start producing and it's like how the hell did they get so good? Not a great team but the future, that is really looking good! Current team is good too and it's just weird how that organization is turning around.

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He was possessed..

One game doesnt make a career though, look at Halak he was lights out for Montreal against Washington that one playoff series, but hasnt done much since.

But nonetheless an amazing performance and an interesting future for him, didnt know anything about him before today

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I think Gudlevskis has a future in the NHL, but one question:

Why is this thread in the Junior Hockey section?

He's young, but he's too old to play major junior hockey, and I don't think he played in the CHL at all.

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