By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on goaltender Filip Larsson.
The Detroit Red Wings have several forwards who are either ready to ascend to the NHL or are not too far away from that point.
The same cannot be said for their goaltending prospects.
However, Filip Larsson has been making a strong case that if there is an heir apparent to Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Bernier, it could be the young Swede.
Larsson, 20, just completed his freshman year at the University of Denver after a record-setting year for the USHL's Tri-City Storm and it was an extremely successful season even though the start was a bit rocky.
A lingering groin injury that Larsson hoped would heal on its own did not and he underwent surgery in September, delaying his Denver debut until November.
It did not take long for Larsson to adjust to the demands of a top-level college program as he was named NCHC Goaltender of the Month in December.
Larsson led the Pioneers to the Frozen Four but their season ended in a 4-3 overtime loss to the University of Massachusetts.
Larsson was named to the 2019 NCHC All-Rookie Team, was a finalist for the NCHC Goalie of the Year award, made the NCHC Honorable Mention All-Star Team, was the Hockey Commissioners' Association National Rookie of the Month for April/March and was a co-recipient of the Pioneers' Bill Masterton Award for team MVP.
The Red Wings signed Larsson to a three-year entry-level contract on April 15 that begins with the 2019-20 season.
Larsson then signed an amateur tryout with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins and joined them during their playoff run.
Larsson will have a chance to win the starting job with the Griffins for next season but the Wings have made it clear that he will have to earn it, it won't just be given to him.
1.95 -- In 22 games, Larsson had a 1.95 goals-against average, which ranked 11th in the NCAA and third among NCAA freshmen. The only other two freshmen with better goals-against averages were Filip Lindberg, a Finn from the University of Massachusetts who had a 1.60 goals-against average, and Dryden McKay, an American from Minnesota State who had a 1.76 goals-against average. In Denver history, the career 1.95 goals-against average ranks second and is seventh in single-season records.
.932 -- Larsson finished with a .932 save percentage in 22 games, ranked sixth in the NCAA and second among NCAA freshmen. UMass' Lindberg was the only freshman better with a .934 save percentage. The .932 save percentage ranks second all-time in Denver hockey history.
.659 -- Larsson finished 12th in goalie winning percentage in the NCAA at .659. Only Minnesota State's McKay at .758 and UMass' Lindberg at .733 were better among NCAA freshmen goaltenders.
4 -- Larsson had four shutouts in his freshman season, with two of them coming in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. He had 24 saves in the 2-0 win over Ohio State University on March 29 -- which should endear him to Michigan fans -- and 26 saves in a 3-0 win over American International College on March 30. Larsson became the fifth goalie to record back-to-back shutouts in the NCAA regional since the current format started in 2003.
2 -- In his first season at Denver, Larsson was twice named NCHC Goalie of the Week, Jan. 14 and Feb. 4.
13 -- Larsson finished with 13 victories in his 22 games.
5 -- As great a season as Larsson had, it wasn't all highs. On Jan. 26, Denver played against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo and Larsson allowed a season-worst five goals on 19 shots. WMU had two power-play goals, both in the first period, by Josh Passolt and Drew Worrad. Paul Washe, Cam Lee and Dawson Dipietro also scored for the Broncos. Larsson was replaced by Michael Corson during the game.
Quotable: "Filip had a very strong year at Denver and was consistent in his starts at the collegiate level. The organization believes he is ready for the next challenge in his career. Filip has already begun his summer training regiment back home in Sweden and plans on arriving in late July to work on his technical game in the Detroit area. Filip adds to our young depth at the goaltending position and he will have the opportunity to make an impact and further his development in his first year professionally." - Brian Mahoney-Wilson, Red Wings goaltending development coach
Quotable II: "He's a good prospect for us. We're excited that he turned pro. We'll see him in development camp again, but he's a kid that had a good year in college. Really, he's probably one of our, if not the, top goalie prospects for us. We're excited, we're happy with his development. He's developed pretty quickly here. He's healthy going into the offseason so we expect him to train and be ready for next year and compete." - Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development