The Good: Varlamov has a fairly unique, hybrid style and changes that style depending on the situation. Primarily a butterfly goalie, he will use his quick reflexes and fast reaction time to stop shots. He is quick to re-establish his stance after acrobatic saves and plays with a lot of composure. He has a quick glove hand but is not always active with his stick. Varlamov rarely leaves the net to play the puck, but is good at preventing one-timers by intercepting cross-crease passes with his stick. He plays a sound positional game and doesn’t lose the net. He maintains his poise and shows a lot of composure for such a young goalie. Conversely, he sometimes lets in bad goals due to a lack of focus, particularly when playing with a big lead. Varlamov has the size, raw skill and reflexes to make him into a strong NHL goalie. He continues to develop the maturity, mobility and stick handling capabilities that will allow him to become an elite goalie. Varlamov’s talent level, mental game, and positive, calm demeanor suggests he can be a top starter for the foreseeable future.
The Bad: Varlamov has occasional problems with his technique and positioning, which reduces his overall effectiveness as a puck-stopper. He isn’t that great at communicating with defenders, which can be due to the fact he’s Russian, and just recently learned English. He has also had groin injuries in the past.