Minnesota Wild Sign Free Agent Goalie To 2-Year Deal

At 39 years old, one of this generation's greatest goaltenders, Marc-Andre Fleury is not a lock to return next season for the Minnesota Wild. And while the team's top prospect is goalie Jesper Wallstedt, it was still prudent for them to re-stock the netminding cupboard, with those in line behind Wallstedt not showing much to be encouraged about. 

Today the Wild boosted their prospect pool in the crease by signing free agent Slovakian Samuel Hlavaj out of the Czech Extraliga. 

It's a two-year, entry-level contract for the 22-year-old. The 6'4", 200-pounder posted a 3.10 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage in 28 games with HC Škoda Plzeň. He'd spent the previous two seasons in his home country, with HC Slovan Bratislava of the Slovakia League, combining for a 2.47 GAA, and a .912 Sv% in 27 outings. 

Hlavaj played his Junior hockey in Quebec with the Sherbrooke Phoenix. As an 18-year-old, he led the QMJHL in GAA at 2.25, which earned him the nod as that league's Defensive Rookie of the Year, as well as a spot on the All-Rookie Team and the Q's Second All-Star Team.

With Wallstedt likely to earn a promotion to Minnesota at some point soon, perhaps even next season if Fleury retires or other circumstances dictate, Hlavaj could take over between the pipes with the Iowa Wild in the AHL.

Photo: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports