Minnesota Wild Call Up Their "Goalie of the Future"

He's widely regarded as one of the top goaltending prospects in the sport, and will get to wear the big club's uniform for the second time this season. The Minnesota Wild have recalled top prospect, goaltender Jesper Wallstedt.

Wallstedt has posted a 2.76 GAA and a .908 SV% in 43 starts for the Iowa Wild of the AHL. He made one start earlier this season for Minnesota, but it was one he'd rather forget, as he surrendered seven goals on 34 shots as the Wild were trounced 7-2 by the Dallas Stars. 

“It took me so long to realize where I was,” Wallstedt told Joe Smith of The Athletic. “I was a little nervous during the anthem. I was just playing on so much adrenaline in the beginning. I was overdoing things.

“You’re always going to think before your first game that you’re ready for it,” Wallstedt added. “I thought 100%, for sure, I could play at that level. I still believe I can. Maybe I wasn’t as ready during that game as I would be today. I think I’d give the team a much better chance to win than I did back then.” 

Future Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury started for the Wild in their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, but Wallstedt has already been tabbed as the starter for their game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

It makes sense for the team to get a good look at the youngster between the pipes for a few games at the NHL level as the season winds down, as they could be faced with a huge decision come the offseason, that Wallstedt would be a big part of:

39-year-old future Hall of Famer Marc-Andre Fleury is a UFA at the end of the year and has still yet to confirm whether he will return for a 21st NHL season, or hang up the pads. If he chooses the latter, Wallstedt could be called upon for a large role with the Wild in the NHL. 

The first-round pick in the 2021 Draft (20th overall) has one year left on his entry-level contract.  

To make up for Wallstedt's call-up from Iowa, the AHL team today signed netminder Peyton Jones to a tryout agreement. In addition, the Wild yesterday signed a free agent of the Czech Extraliga for extra insurance.

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports