Filip Gustavsson and Minnesota Wild Agree on Contract

Creator: David Berding | Credit: Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild announced on July 31, 2023, that they came to a contract agreement with Filip Gustavsson. Originally scheduled to go to arbitration, both parties were able to agree before the meeting scheduled for Friday, August 4. Gustavsson agreed to a multi-year deal to help avoid arbitration.

Gustavsson’s new contract is a three-year, $11.25 million contract. The average annual value will be $3.75 million. This contract brings Gustavsson through the 2025-26 season with the Wild.

Previously, Gustavsson, 25, signed a two-year, $1.5 million contract with the Ottawa Senators. He was traded to the Minnesota Wild for Cam Talbot in July of 2022. Originally from Skelleftea, Sweden, Gustavsson was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins at number 55 in the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft. On June 16, 2017, he signed a three-year ELC but was loaned back to Lulea HF to continue his development in the Swedish Hockey League. On February 23, 2018, he was traded to the Senators and assigned to their AHL team, the Belleville Senators. Gustavsson made his NHL debut on March 17, 2021.

The 2022-23 season was a career year for Gustavsson. Previously, Gustavsson had only played a total of 27 NHL games. After appearing to be an up-and-coming prospect, Gustavsson struggled to adapt to the grueling amount of games that teams play in North America. In a Pioneer Press article from last spring, he was quoted as saying he “had one more year left (on my contract), and it was like, if this is my last year (in North America), at least I get to see a new city, make new friends, and play for a new team.” Gustavsson had settled in his mind that after one more year, he would return to playing in Sweden. No one could’ve predicted what happened instead.

Quickly establishing himself as the starting goalie over future hall-of-famer Marc-Andre Fleury, Gustavsson played 39 games with the Wild. Gustavsson went 22-9-7 with a 2.10 goals-against-average and a .931 save percentage. He also finished the season with three shutout games. His GAA and save percentage were ranked second in the NHL for goalies who played at least 25 games. Only Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins ended the season ahead of him.

While the rest of the series was a disappointment, Gustavsson shined in his first start of the 2022-23 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The first game in the series against the Dallas Stars went into two full overtimes, marking over 92 minutes of ice time for Gustavsson. He made 51 saves, which included 12 saves in the third period and 26 combined saves in the two overtime periods. This passed the previous Wild record for saves in a playoff game held by Niklas Backstrom (44 saves).

This multi-year deal will essentially establish Gustavsson as the starting goalie. Fleury is expected to take a back seat in what will most likely be the last season of his hockey career. It will also pave the way for a 2024-25 tandem pairing of Gustavsson and Jesper Wallstsedt, the number one goalie prospect in the NHL.

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