The Wild has locked up prospect Johan Gustafsson just before the goaltender would’ve become eligible to re-enter the NHL draft.
Minnesota has signed Gustafsson to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deadline to sign Gustafsson was Friday, otherwise he would’ve been eligible to re-enter the NHL Entry Draft June 22-23 in Pittsburgh.
The Koping, Sweden native has a penchant for last minute heroics. He led Team Sweden to a World Junior Championship earlier this year. In his WJC debut, Gustafsson stopped all 17 shots faced in the gold medal game for a 1-0 shutout of Russia.
The 20 year old also stopped 22 of 24 shots through regulation and overtime in the semifinal game against Finland, before stopping two of three shootout attempts, giving Sweden a berth to the gold medal game. In five games, he had a .887 save percentage and 2.20 goals against average with one shutout.
The 6-foot-1 goaltender finished the regular season fifth in the Swedish Elite League with a .932 save percentage and second with a 1.68 goals against average. He was the Wild’s sixth round pick (159th overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Level Draft.
In 2010-11 he played for VIK Vasteras HK. In seven games with the junior team he posted a 2.83 GAA and one shutout and in 28 games with the Division 2 team he notched two shutouts and a 2.35 GAA. Gustafsson played with three teams in 2009-10 including three matches with Farjestads BK Karlstad in Sweden's Elite League. He also appeared in four games at the 2010 IIHF U18 Championship going 3-1 with a 2.02 GAA and a .918 SV% as Sweden lost to the United States in the gold medal game.
He is the fifth player from the Wild's 2010 draft class that has signed an entry-level contract (Brett Bulmer, Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson and Jason Zucker).