Makarov is a 19 year old goaltender from Kazan, Russia – who was signed by the Buffalo Sabres as an undrafted free agent this off season. He is currently on loan to the Saskatoon Blades of the CHL. The Buffalo Sabres could have a diamond in the rough with Makarov, who has been compared to fellow countrymen Evgeni Nabokov.
Andrey has only been playing the North American game for two seasons now; having come over from Russia to play with the Lewiston Maineaics in 2010-2011. The Maineaics would fold after that season, prompting his switch to the Canadian Hockey League and joining the Blades.
With just over a .500 record – Makarov could be groomed as a backup goaltender in the organization – although he may only surge as high as the AHL if he stays within the Buffalo Sabres organization.
Makarov was the backup goaltender for Team Russia during last year’s World Junior Championship in Canada, seeing limited time behind Andrei Vasilevski, drafted this past year by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If both tenders make it to the roster this year – expect Makarov to have limited exposure to the ice again this year, as not only did Vasievski lead team Russia to Silver in Canada, he is currently playing in Ufa, Russia in their top minor league system.
Andrey Makarov the goaltender should not be confused with Andrey Makarov the Russian born race-walker who competed internationaly for Belarus.