Adam Vay (Alexander Nemenov/AFP/Getty Images)
Hungarian goaltender Adam Vay impressed in his three-game stint at the World Champinoship, and he’s turned it into a two-year, entry-level deal with the Minnesota Wild. Vay, 22, played last season in Hungary’s MOL Liga.
Adam Vay hasn’t played a single game in a North American league since the 2014-15 season when he appeared in 41 games for the Western States Hockey League’s El Paso Rhinos. But the 22-year-old undrafted netminder has found his way to an NHL deal thanks to a three-game performance at the 2016 World Championship.
The Minnesota Wild announced they have signed Vay to a two-year, entry-level deal that could bring him over to the organization as early as next season. In three games at the World Championship for Hungary, Vay’s numbers weren’t exactly earth-shattering, but his ability to fend off constant attacks from top-flight opponents such as Finland, USA and Canada had him piquing the interest of some onlookers.
All told, he posted a .911 save percentage and 3.67 goals-against average at the tournament, but his 48-save performance against the Finns and 35 stops against the Americans were impressive feats. That’s not to mention he stopped 11 of the 12 shots he faced against the Canadians.
Vay was not in goal for Hungary’s lone win at the tournament, which was their first victory at the World Championship in 77 years, and he will not be back at the tournament next season as Hungary was relegated.
Vay played in Hungary’s MOL Liga this past season for Debreceni HK and posted a 2.75 GAA and .927 SP, which was the best in the league. He also added two shutouts in his first season in the Hungarian league.
Prior to heading to Debreceni HK, Vay spent two seasons with the WSHL’s Rhinos, where he had two great seasons. In 2013-14, Vay posted a 1.76 GAA and .936 SP in 26 games, both of which were top marks among goaltenders to play 10-plus games. He helped the Rhinos win the WSHL title that season. He followed that up with a 2.03 GAA and .923 SP in 2014-15, which were top-five marks in the league.
Even if Vay doesn’t necessarily have the background of some NHL standouts, he does have a great frame for a modern-era netminder. At 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, Vay would have been one of only 12 goaltenders his height or taller had he played in the NHL this past season. Other netminders with his size include Pekka Rinne, Robin Lehner and Devan Dubnyk.