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New goaltender Filip Gustavsson excited for new chapter with Wild

The 24-year-old Swede will get to learn from future Hall of Fame goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury next season.

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks
Ottawa Senators goalie Filip Gustavsson (32) makes a save against the Vancouver Canucks in the third period of an April 19, 2022, game at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Bob Frid / USA Today Sports
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Filip Gustavsson acknowledged that he’s still a young goaltender who has a lot to learn.

Luckily for the 24-year-old Swede, he will get to learn from future Hall of Fame goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury next season.

“That’s a big honor,” said Gustavsson, who the Minnesota Wild acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators this week. “Such an experienced guy with so much success in his career. Just be able to talk with him and practice with him and see him learn is going to help me a lot.”

What does Gustavsson hope to learn most from Fleury?

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“How can he be so consistent all the time?” Gustavsson said. “Just practicing with him on the ice I’m going to see the small details that he does so well.”

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Those small details could make big difference.

There’s no doubt playing for the Senators over the past couple of seasons stunted his growth as a player. There weren’t a lot of veterans on the roster amid the rebuild in Ottawa, and because of that, Gustavsson struggled for prolonged stretches.

Perhaps a change of scenery can get him back on track.

“I hope I get a few opportunities to show my game and make the teammates believe in me,” Gustavsson said. “I want to show that I’m a really good goaltender.

NHL: Arizona Coyotes at Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators goalie Filip Gustavsson dons his helmet prior to the start of a March 14, 2022, game against the Arizona Coyotes at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
Marc DesRosiers / USA Today Sports

Though simply looking at Gustavsson’s stats might not inspire a ton of confidence — he had a 5-12-1 record last season to go along with a 3.55 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage — many people feel he has some untapped potential. He was a second-round pick in 2016 NHL draft, so he is still in the early stages of his career.

“I’ve had my ups and downs when I played in the NHL,” said Gustavsson, who naturally grew up idolizing future Hall of Fame goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. “If I can just get a higher consistency level with my bad games not being as low, I feel like I’m going to have great success.”

As for the rest of the summer, Gustavsson is back in his native Sweden training with a number of NHL players.

“Just practicing and working out in the morning and soon we’re going to have ice,” Gustavsson said. “Then I think early September is the plan to come over for training camp.”

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