Gustavsson Secures a Spot with Minnesota Wild: Three-Year Contract Inked After Breakout Season

Gustavsson has a three-year plan to become Wild's primary goalie.

The Minnesota Wild has ensured the return of the talented goaltender Filip Gustavsson, following a successful season that showcased the 25-year-old’s capabilities. This was achieved by sealing a three-year contract worth $3.75 million per annum, thus successfully avoiding a potential arbitration hearing.

Gustavsson’s Journey to the Minnesota Wild

Gustavsson, a native of Skelleftea, Sweden, proved himself to be an invaluable asset in his breakout NHL season, securing his position with the Wild through the 2025-26 season. Prior to his breakout season, Gustavsson was engaged in the final season of a two-year contract with the Ottawa Senators, with a cap hit of $787,500. Subsequently, he was traded by the Senators to the Wild, swapping places with goaltender Cam Talbot.

During his tenure with the Wild, Gustavsson showed exceptional prowess in 39 games, registering a commendable 22-9-7 record. His save percentage of .931 and a goals-against average of 2.10 ranked him second among NHL goaltenders who played at least 30 games, a noteworthy achievement considering the only player ahead of him was Vezina Trophy winner, Linus Ullmark.

In contrast, Marc-Andre Fleury, another goaltender for the Wild, played 46 games in the 2022-23 season, with 31 of these games occurring before the all-star break. His save percentage and GAA for the season were .908 and 2.85, respectively. Post the break, Gustavsson appeared in 20 games compared to Fleury’s 15.

Gustavsson’s Playoff Performance

When the playoffs rolled around, Gustavsson’s performance did not wane. He started Game 1, amassing an impressive 51 saves, the most in the Wild’s playoff history. The game resulted in a thrilling 3-2 overtime win for the Wild. However, Game 2 saw the reins being handed over to Fleury by coach Dean Evason, which resulted in a loss for the Wild as Fleury conceded seven goals from 31 shots.

Subsequently, Gustavsson assumed the role of the primary goaltender for the remainder of the six-game series. Although the Wild managed to retake the series lead, they suffered a disappointing three consecutive losses, resulting in their exit from the playoffs. Despite this setback, Gustavsson ended the round with a commendable 2.33 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage.

Gustavsson’s Contract Breakdown

SeasonRoster SizeStandard Player ContractsUpper LimitProjected Cap HitProjected Cap Space

Gustavsson, who was drafted 55th overall in 2016 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, has long been a promising goaltending prospect. He was traded to the Senators in 2018 and played his first full AHL season with the Belleville Senators in 2018-19. Although he struggled to shine in the AHL, he showed promising signs in nine NHL games in 2020-21, securing five of seven starts with a .933 save percentage.

However, Gustavsson’s performance in the following season was less impressive, with a 3.55 GAA and .892 save percentage in 18 games. This lead to the Senators trading him for Cam Talbot, in hopes of gaining more NHL experience for the playoffs – a plan that didn’t pan out as hoped.

Gustavsson in game.

The Gustavsson-Fleury Tandem: A Look Ahead

As for the Wild, they are eager to repeat the success of the Gustavsson-Fleury tandem in the coming season, with the ultimate goal of advancing beyond the first playoff round, a feat they have not achieved since the 2014-15 season.

The team’s budget is tight with about $1.6 million in cap space for 20 players on their roster, and with a substantial $14.7 million going towards buyouts for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Nevertheless, they are hopeful that the skill of their two main goalies will provide the stability they need.

During this three-year contract, Gustavsson aims to establish himself as the undisputed starting goaltender for the Wild, with an eye on a more lucrative contract when he becomes eligible for UFA status at the age of 28.

In conclusion, securing Gustavsson’s contract has been a strategic move for the Minnesota Wild. The potential that Gustavsson displayed during the previous season has set the expectations high for the coming years. Fans and players alike are eagerly looking forward to seeing how Gustavsson will continue to contribute to the team’s success.

Career Statistics of Filip Gustavsson Across Seasons

Hockey Expert
reviewed by: Jeremy Karamen (Hockey Expert)

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