Now, Onto Filip Gustavsson
Goaltender Filip Gustavsson was drafted in the second round of the 2016 NHL draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two years later, on February 23rd, 2018, he would be traded in part of a package to the Ottawa Senators in order to acquire center Derick Brassard. Upon his acquisition, Gustavsson would be regarded as the Goaltender of the Future by many (including myself), and would play two full seasons in the AHL with the Belleville Senators before flirting with the NHL in the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
Ultimately, Gustavsson would lose favor in the Senators’ organization, and with the likes of Mads Sogaard, Kevin Mandolese, and Leevi Merilainen all knocking on the doorstep for his roster spot, it was time for Pierre Dorion to make a decision.
As mentioned above, the trade was completed to send Talbot to Ottawa in exchange for Gustavsson. Ottawa got a veteran goaltender coming off of a great year to help sure things up in net while Minnesota would receive a struggling young goalie looking for a new breath of fresh air.
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Comparing each goalie’s impact on their new teams
Comparing a trade that happened less than a year ago is not always fair, because each trade is completed for a different reason. In this case, the Ottawa Senators wanted to assure they had strong goaltending depth as they begin the next step of their rebuild and begin to contend for the playoffs every year. At the time, Gustavsson was not a sure-fire option in net, and as of right now, it could be argued that he’s not a sure-fire thing yet. It’s his first season with the wild, and I’m curious as to see what his next step is. So far, this season he has gone 20-9-5 with a .933S% and a 2.01 GAA while Cam Talbot has gone 16-14-1 with a .902S% and 2.86 GAA. The Minnesota Wild are currently fighting to reach first place in the Western Conference while the Senators are struggling to reach the final wildcard. I think it’s fair to say that in year 1, the Wild are leading the conversation of who won, but the conversation isn’t over yet. I look forward to revisiting this trade in the future.