Wild trade up to snag Jesper Wallstedt with 20th pick
Minnesota dealt Edmonton the 22nd and 90th overall selections to move up and take the talented netminder.
Weight: 225 pounds
Club: Lulea HF
(Stats source: EliteProspects.com)
Wallstedt owned roughly league average numbers as a starter during his first season in Sweden's top professional league, which is remarkable for an 18-year-old.
He also played two games for Sweden at the world juniors and posted a .923 save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average. He's a near lock to be Tre Kronor's starter at next year's tournament.
The big Swede isn't as athletically gifted as Sebastian Cossa, the other consensus top netminder in this class, but he's far more refined and probably closer to being NHL ready. He's very fluid and efficient with his movements in the crease, tracks the pucks well, and has good rebound control.
Wallstedt should be placed in the same tier as Yaroslav Askarov and Spencer Knight - the only goalies to get picked in the first round of the 2020 and 2019 drafts, respectfully.
There's always risk with drafting netminders early, but Wallstedt has the potential to become a franchise goalie.
What they're saying
"He's very smart, technically refined, but he may just be a finished product that developed ahead of schedule. I think he plays, he starts, but I don't see a sky-high projection you'd like for a potential top-half-of-the-first-round goaltender," an anonymous scout/executive told The Athletic's Corey Pronman.
"There is something special about him. His hockey sense is among the best I've ever seen in a draft-eligible goaltender," said another anonymous scout/executive.