Johan Gustafsson Returning To Sweden


Minnesota Wild Goalie Prospect Johan Gustafsson is returning to Sweden to play in the SHL.

After two  seasons with the AHL Iowa Wild and a brief stint with the ECHL Alaska Aces, Johan Gustafsson has opted to return to his native Sweden and play for Frolunda of the SHL, per ProHockeyTalk. Gustafsson was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer.

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Drafted in the 6th round, 159th overall in the 2010 NHL entry draft, Gustafsson looked incredibly promising. Playing with top-tier Luelå of the SHL in 2011-2012, Gustafsson posted a 1.68 GAA and a .932 Save percentage in 29 games.  He also helped team Sweden to a gold medal at the World Juniors in 2012. You can take a closer look at his stats courtesy of our friends at Elite Prospects below.

Since joining the Iowa Wild in 2013-2014, Gustafsson hasn’t quite performed to expectation. During the 2014-2015 season, Gustafsson put up dismal numbers including a 3.46 GAA and a .893 save percentage in 34 games while John Curry got the bulk of the starts.

I imagine the Minnesota Wild knew about this move, opting to sign UDFA Brody Hoffman at the conclusion of the NCAA season. Stephen Michalek, the promising Harvard goaltender may be on his way to Iowa, pending his petition for one more season with the Crimson.

Just 23-years-old, Gustafsson has NHL size and technical skill. The Iowa Wild had a disappointing season in front of Gustafsson, so this may serve as an opportunity for the young netminder to develop a little more. Because he was going to be a RFA, the Minnesota Wild will retain his rights if he decides to return to the NHL.

Next: Johan Gustafsson's New Mask Revealed

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