Just an hour ahead of round two of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues made a surprising trade. The Red Wings acquire pending unrestricted free agent goaltender Ville Husso from St. Louis in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick.
The Red Wings then immediately came to terms with Husso on a new deal, signing him to a three-year contract with an average annual value of $4.75 million. According to Puck Pedia, the deal also includes a ten-team no-trade clause in all three seasons.
The 27-year-old netminder had a career season in 2021-22, posting a record of 25-7-6 and a save percentage of .919. With the limited options in this year’s free-agent goalie crop, teams like New Jersey and Toronto were reportedly eyeing Husso.
For most of last season, Husso was St. Louis’s number one goalie, beating out Jordan Binnigton, but he lost the crease in the playoffs and also struggled when Binnigton went down in the second round. In the 2021-22 playoffs, Husso had a record of 2-5 and a save percentage of .890.
While Detroit seeming came out of nowhere in terms of trading for Husso, the fit makes sense. While fans were excited about trading for 2021 Calder Trophy runner-up Alex Nedeljkovic last summer, there were points previous season that the rookie struggled with a more significant workload. Husso’s annual cap hit of $4.75 million is also higher than Alex Nedeljkovic’s $3 million. Trading for and signing Husso gives Detroit a solid 1A-1B tandem that can split the workload across the 82-game season.
Husso has only played 57 career games but has shown plenty of upside in his short time with Detroit having draft capital and cap space, this is a good gamble for the Red Wings.