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 Jesper Eliasson.
The Detroit Red Wings were thinking of the future when they drafted Swedish goaltender Jesper Eliasson in the third round, 84th overall, in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
When the 2019-20 season begins, Jimmy Howard will be 35 years old and Jonathan Bernier will be 31.
Howard signed a one-year extension for the upcoming season and Bernier has two years left on his three-year, $9 million deal.
While Filip Larsson appears to be closer to the NHL as he is slated to start his professional career with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins this year, there is hope that Eliasson won't be too far behind.
Eliasson, 19, is a big netminder at 6-foot-3, 209 pounds, and had a good year with the Vaxjo Lakers HC J20 in the SuperElit, Sweden's junior hockey league.
Vaxjo did loan Eliasson to IK Oskarshamn of the Allsvenskan, the second highest league in Sweden, for three weeks but he did not play a game.
Next season Eliasson expects to be loaned to Almtuna IS of the Allsvenskan and compete for a spot on Sweden's world junior team.
Eventually, after spending some time in the SHL, Eliasson will make his way over to North America and will work toward earning a role in Detroit.
During development camp last month, Eliasson led Team Delvecchio to the 3-on-3 title and was also part of Team Lindsay's victory in the Red and White Game.
33 -- In his first full season with the Vaxjo Lakers HC J20 in the SuperElit, Eliasson played in 33 games, tied for second most in the league with Orebro HK J20's Isac Olsson, Vasteras IK J20's Elias Olofsson and Linkoping HC J20's Jesper Myrenberg. Brynas IF J20's Tobias Forsgren and AIK J20's August Hedlund led the league with 35 games.
2.43 -- Eliasson registered a 2.43 goals-against average for the Lakers. That was good enough for seventh in the league. Frölunda HC J20's Erik Portillo led with a 1.99 goals-against average.
.919 - Eliasson had a .919 save percentage, tied for fourth in the league with Frölunda HC J20's Ludvig Persson. Frolunda's Portillo led with a .931 save percentage.
2 -- Eliasson played in two games each for Sweden's U19 team and U20 team. For the U19 team, his goals-against average was 2.00. Jesper Myrenberg was the other goaltender and his goals-against average was 1.00.
1 -- In the two games Eliasson played for Sweden's U20 team, Eliasson had a 1.00 goals-against average, the best among the four goaltenders. Samuel Ersson played in seven games and had a 2.85 goals-against average, Olle Eriksson Ek played in six games and had a 2.34 goals-against average and Adam Ahman played in four games and had a 3.57 goals-against average. Eliasson also wears No. 1 for Vaxjo.
.924 -- In his two U19 games, Eliasson had a .924 save percentage. Myrenberg had a .937 save percentage.
.961 -- In his two U20 games, Eliasson had a stellar .961 save percentage. Ersson had an .897 save percentage in seven games, Eriksson Ek had an .897 save percentage in six games and Ahman had an .857 save percentage in four games.
Quotable: "He's going to be contending for the world junior team this year in the Czech (Republic) for Team Sweden. His development has drastically improved. I think it was a shock to him that he was drafted in the third round last year. It exceeded his expectations. But we thought highly of him and we set up a plan for him last year that he would improve specifically his lateral mobility and his secondary movement after rebounds and he did so. That's very, very noticeable. Like most Swedish goalies, he's structured but the one element that he has that separates him from his counterparts in Sweden is his ability to react and live those situations, react a little bit cleaner rather than have a little bit of a technical structure you can't break. That's one thing that Jesper is very, very good at is again, like Filip, he has great hockey IQ and awareness, great reads, it's just a matter of improving body control and that's going to come over time, just like anything.
"He's improved in a year's time, he knows what to expect in this camp, and he's just learning a couple things here and there from Jeff Salajko, Maciej Swoch, who is our European goalie scout who is here right now, and myself. If he takes that home and he'll be in the Allsvenskan league next year and he'll probably play 45 games and have that world junior experience. Hopefully he's able to play on that SHL team in Vaxjo the following year. So that would be great for his development this year to have set those markers and achieve those milestones and continue his development. But we think highly of him and he's a very good prospect for us." -- Brian Mahoney-Wilson, Red Wings goaltending development coach