Give it up for Elvis.
The NHL Prospects Tournament is a far cry from the NHL, but Elvis Merzlikins knows the path to becoming the Blue Jackets' next No. 1 goaltender starts this weekend. In Columbus' tournament-opening 6-2 win on Friday afternoon, he showed a glimpse of what he can do.
Merzlikins, the talented young Latvian who will make his NHL debut this fall, started the Blue Jackets' opener in Traverse City and made 29 saves in the victory. His best of the 29, though, was a no-brainer; the Rangers zipped it around in the Columbus zone and looked to have a slam-dunk goal...but Merzlikins' glove got in the way.
Check this out (clip courtesy of SB Nation's Adam Herman):
Unreal passing sequence here. Henriksson > Fox > Henriksson > Newell > Kravtsov > Newell. This deserved three goals, let alone one. Tremendous save by Elvis Merzlikins. pic.twitter.com/9HcdqR346j— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) September 6, 2019
This is some serious talent, folks.
Merzlikins is set to do battle with incumbent Joonas Korpisalo in training camp, which kicks off next week in Columbus. If he can bring game like this to the table, then it's going to make for a compelling run leading into opening night.