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Wild secure Johan Gustafsson just before deadline

Jun 1, 2012, 9:33 AM EDT

Sweden goaltender Johan Gustafsson makes a save against Russia during the first period of the world junior hockey championships title game Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary, Alberta. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette) AP

With time running out for the Minnesota Wild to ink Johan Gustafsson before he would have returned to the draft pool, the two sides managed to agree to a three-year, entry-level contract. The deadline to sign Gustafsson or lose him was Friday.

Gustafsson is a goaltending prospect who excelled in the Swedish Elite League this season, posting a 1.68 GAA and .932 save percentage. He was also part of Sweden’s gold medal winning team in the 2012 world junior championship.

The Wild originally took him in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL entry draft.

Gustafsson joins Darcy Kuemper and Matt Hackett as the Wild’s top netminding prospects. His presence could prove to be important over the next few of seasons as Josh Harding is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and Niklas Backstrom‘s deal will expire in the summer of 2013. Backstrom will be 35 years old when his contract ends.

  1. lordfletcher - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM

    Smart signing by Fletcher. He is stocking cupboards for the next few years with all of these young prospects. Some will play, some will get traded, either way, win / win!

    Best case situation. Hackett / Kuemper / Gustafsson all turn out to be future #1’s and the Wild have great trade assets…. If only one of them turns out to be a true #1, still okay in my book.

    Go Fletcher Go!

    • sknut - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Couldn’t agree more, these guys are assets and that is something the Wild hasn’t had in a long time. It should be an exciting summer for the Wild to get some help here and get in the playoffs next year.

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