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NHL Free Agency 2017: Wild comes to terms with Swedish goaltender Niklas Svedberg

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Svedberg played last season with Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov at Salavet Yulaev Ufa in the KHL

Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Wild was desperately in the market for a goaltender that could help compete and push Alex Stalock for the back-up goalie role. As free agency opened at the stroke of noon on the East Coast, the Wild had come to terms with a goalie from Europe in Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg, a native of Sweden, played most recently with the Salavet Yulaev Ufa of the KHL, the former team of Wild stud prospect Kirill Kaprizov.

Svedberg was signed as a free agent out of Brynas of the Swedish Elite League in 2012 by the Boston Bruins and played well in 48 games in Providence with .925 save percentage. He made his NHL debut with the Bruins in 3-2 victory in 2013. The rest of that season he was in the AHL and posted a .910 save percentage with 2.63 GAA. In 2013-14 he played in 18 games in the NHL with the Bruins, with a .918 save percentage.

Overall, the 27 year old, the 6’1” goalie has bounced around from the SEL, the the AHL and NHL, and out to Russia to play in the KHL. The last two seasons with Salavet Yulaev Ufa has been up and down. In 2015-16 he played 53 games and had a .916 save percentage, but couldn’t follow up that year with equal production, falling below .900 in 5 fewer games.

The terms appear to be a two-way deal, which allows the Wild to pay him a lower salary in the AHL than when he is up in the NHL.

Niklas Svedberg Career Stats

Season Team League GP GAA SVS% Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
Season Team League GP GAA SVS% Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
2004-2005 Djurgårdens IF J18 J18 Elit 0 - -
Sweden U16 (all) International-Jr 2 2 0.892
2005-2006 Stockholm TV-Pucken 6 2.52 0.873
Djurgårdens IF J18 J18 Elit 13 1.63 0.928
Djurgårdens IF J18 J18 Allsvenskan 8 2.1 0.936 Playoffs 2 2.33 0.923
Sweden U17 (all) International-Jr 1 7 0.781
2006-2007 Djurgårdens IF J18 J18 Elit 7 2.31 0.885
Djurgårdens IF J20 SuperElit 1 1 0.944
Botkyrka HC Division 1 13 3.66 0.9
MODO Hockey J18 J18 Allsvenskan 2 3.51 0.857
MODO Hockey J20 SuperElit 5 2.15 0.917 Playoffs 5 2.97 0.921
2007-2008 MODO Hockey J20 SuperElit 36 2.92 0.907 Playoffs 5 2.95 0.923
MODO Hockey SHL 1 7.11 0.667
Sweden U19 (all) International-Jr 2 4.5 0.903
2008-2009 MODO Hockey J20 SuperElit 12 1.68 0.941 Playoffs 5 1.82 0.934
MODO Hockey SHL 3 5.41 0.828
Huddinge IK Allsvenskan 23 3.23 0.898
Sweden U20 (all) International-Jr 3 2.8 0.921
2009-2010 MODO Hockey J20 SuperElit 7 1.35 0.959
MODO Hockey SHL 32 2.59 0.901
2010-2011 Brynäs IF SHL 21 2.28 0.917
Mora IK Allsvenskan 2 2.5 0.932
2011-2012 Brynäs IF SHL 29 2.4 0.915 Playoffs 13 1.7 0.947
2012-2013 Providence Bruins AHL 48 2.17 0.925 Playoffs 12 3.29 0.889
2013-2014 Boston Bruins NHL 1 1.97 0.943
Providence Bruins AHL 45 2.63 0.91 Playoffs 9 2.7 0.905
2014-2015 Boston Bruins NHL 18 2.33 0.918
Providence Bruins AHL 4 2.76 0.911
2015-2016 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 53 2.37 0.916 Playoffs 19 2.54 0.912
Sweden (all) International 2 1.92 0.929
2016-2017 Salavat Yulaev Ufa KHL 48 2.99 0.897 Playoffs 5 1.76 0.933
Sweden EHT 2 4.52 0.841
Sweden (all) International 6 2.41 0.879
via EliteProspects.com

Minnesota needed another goalie in the fold, but with little cap space to work with, this type of deal is no surprise. Being 27, it’s likely his last chance with and NHL club to make something happen. Chuck Fletcher and the Wild are banking on the goalie getting another chance, and there being a healthy competition for the back-up role behind Devan Dubnyk.