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Wilderness Walk: Everybody loves Jesper

Your daily dose of Wild news, along with other interesting stories from around the NHL.

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NHL: JUL 14 Minnesota Wild Development Camp Photo by Bailey Hillesheim/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When the Minnesota Wild drafted goaltender Jesper Wallstedt with the 20th overall pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, people were cheering on the team for taking a player that felt like a sure thing. We’re not saying they were right in doing so, but it seems pretty damn likely at this point that Wallstedt will be in the NHL in the next couple years.

He has already won AHL Goaltender of the Month and is playing extremely well considering his age. Now that he’s getting more comfortable playing in North America — just months into his first season over here — he has cemented a strong future that some are already claiming that he is the best goalie prospect in the world.

His game has remarkable polish and maturity. There’s just a control to his game that is so singular and rare in goalies his age. I’ve written about it in the past as almost robotic, and that’s truly the best descriptor for it. Wallstedt’s a big 6-foot-3, 213-pound (he fills the net for his size) goalie who plays sharp lines positionally, holds those lines, and swallows the first shot so that he doesn’t have to make a ton of second saves. He’s incredibly calm in the net, staring down shooters and reading them. He covers the bottom of the net so well and doesn’t seem to get beat along the ice. Few shots sneak through him. His movement is compact, he tracks through layers incredibly well to find pucks, and he reads opposing shooters so well that he’s rarely beat cleanly. — Scott Wheeler, The Athletic

That sounds pretty damn good!

That’s Wild

  • Wallstedt was recently ranked No. 1 on Wheeler’s list of the top 10 drafted goalie prospects in the NHL. [The Athletic]
  • Trade rumors are swirling around the league and recently there have been confirmed reports that the Wild have expressed interest in trading for a currently injured Patrick Kane. There are a lot of reasons to not do this. [10K Rinks]

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