Filip Gustavsson made his mark on the international scene in 2015 and has been impressing ever since. He’s the top-ranked European goaltender eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, and that speaks to a well-rounded skillset he possesses.
Here’s everything you need to know about this gifted prospect.
Age on June 24: 18
Current Team: Lulea (Swedish SuperElit League)
Catches: Left hand
Weight: 185 pounds
From: Skelleftea, Sweden
NHL Central Scouting Rank (European Goaltenders): 1st
Jeff Marek’s Take: The most NHL-ready goaltender in the draft. Fundamentals are solid.
All of the descriptions of Gustavsson’s ability are exactly what you expect to read about a top-rated goaltending prospect.
“Positionally strong, he keeps movement to a minimum, letting things come to him,” says Bill Placzek at draftsite.com.
“Good going side to side, squares up on shooters, and is an athletic battler when the opposition gets to the net,” Placzek adds.
Gustavsson’s profile has risen steadily since the early months of 2015, but perhaps his most impressive feat thus far was jumping up from the Swedish Elite League to the Swedish Hockey League for six games this season, boasting a .910 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average.
Starring on the international stage…
Gustavsson’s made his name through impressive performances donning the fabled Tre Kronor jersey of the Swedish national team.
Gustavsson first helped Sweden capture bronze by putting up the best save percentage at the World Under-17 tournament in 2015.
He propelled Sweden to a silver medal at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka tournament, while he turned in an MVP performance by posting a .950 save percentage and a 2.11 goals-against average in five games.
And Gustavsson was also named best goaltender as part of a silver-medal bid at the 2016 World Under-18 tournament.
Deep in the crease…
If there’s one consistent knock on Gustavsson’s style, it’s that he tends to play deep in his crease instead of near the top of it. As a result, he tends to overcommit to certain shots.
Patience is a virtue. If Gustavsson can harness it, he promises to be an impressive NHL player. As for playing deep in his net, it’s a style that’s worked out pretty well for some goaltenders—like countryman Henrik Lundqvist.