With the 197th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Wild have selected goaltender Filip Lindberg from the University of Massachusetts of the Hockey East conference. The 20-year-old netminder backstopped the Minutemen to an appearance in the NCAA Championship Game, where UMass lost to the University of Minnesota-Duluth, 3-0.
Lindberg played in 17 games during his freshman year for the Minutemen in 2018-19, earning a 1.66 goals against average and a save percentage of .934. Lindberg also won a gold medal with the Finland U-20 team at the IIHF World Junior Championships as the backup goaltender. He appeared in one preliminary round game, shutting out Kazakhstan in a 5-0 victory.
The 6-foot, 187 pound Lindberg was ranked by one scouting service, McKeen’s Hockey, as their #163rd rated prospect. He was ranked #13 by NHL Central Scouting for European goalies for the 2018 NHL Draft, where he went undrafted. As Lindberg went mostly unranked by most of the major NHL prospect services, there’s not much out there on him outside of his Cinderella story at UMass, where he earned the starting job mid-season, and rode strong numbers all the way to the title game, where a talented but young Minutemen squad was steamrolled by the far superior UMD Bulldogs.
As BehrInTheWild mentioned in his coverage of fellow Wild 2019 draftee Hunter Jones, there is a big of a logjam now in Iowa, with Kaapo Kahkonen and Mat Robson looking to take the next steps, if and when Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock move on in the next few years. Now with Jones and Lindberg, the Wild’s cabinet of netminders is stocked to the brim.