The Senators sign their potential goalie of the future to a two-year deal
The first year of Gustavsson’s contract carries a value of $750,000 in the NHL and $150,000 in the AHL (two-way), switching to a one-way deal in 2022-23 with a value of $825,000.
The 23-year-old, native of Skelleftea, Sweden, was far and away the class of the Senators goaltending position last season and despite the small sample size (9 games), you can’t ignore a 0.933 SV% and a 2.16 goals-against average. With Matt Murray and Anton Forsberg expected to start the season in Ottawa, it’s expected that the Swedish goaltender will take the starting role with Belleville, evident by the two-way contract. With the contract turning into a one-way in 2022-23, it makes you think that Gustavsson will at least start that season at the backup position, it also gives the team flexibility if Matt Murray continues to struggle.
Now, this isn’t saying that Gustavsson can’t force the team’s hand next season if he continues the same play that he ended last year with, there’s nothing stopping him from passing Anton Forsberg on the depth chart this season. The 23-year-old netminder produced a GSAA (goals saved above average) of 6.40, which ranks second to only Boston‘s Jeremy Swayman among goalies with 10 or fewer games played. For reference; Matt Murray and Marcus Hogberg carried ratings of -11.09 and -10.33 respectively.
For such a young goalie in the NHL, Gustavsson looks so calm, cool, and collected in the net, rarely being out of position to make a save, saves like the one below epitomize the Senators puck stopper:
The steady play of the Senators’ top-goalie prospect was one of the main reasons why the Senators were victorious in 10 of their last 14 games.
It’s very likely that we will see Gustavsson back in Ottawa at some point in the upcoming season.