By Eldon MacDonald
40. Magnus Hellberg - “Mr. Big” - G – Sweden
Vitals: Size - 6’5”, 185 lb.; Shoots left; Born: 4-Apr-91
Team: Almtuna, Allsvenskan (SWE 2)
2010-11 Stats: 31-2.04-.936 + SWE 2 playoffs 5-3.24-.908
40 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
60 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (2nd European goalie)
99 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
38 - Nashville Predators
So why is Magnus Hellberg ranked so high??? Well, for starters he was so good this season that his team (Almtuna in the Allsvenskan - Swedish Tier 2 Professional League) loaned out their starting goalie (my sleeper pick from last year, Fredrik Petterson-Wentzel) to another team. Secondly, he ended the season with an amazing .936 save percentage, second in the league. Thirdly, Swedish teams from the Swedish Elite League (Elitserien) took notice and Frölunda signed him for next year. Fourth, he had a great goalie coach in Micce Andreasson who coincidentially will also be his goalie coach at Frölunda next year. Maybe, the team that drafts him should ask Micce to come over too as part of the bargain.
So what type of goalie is Magnus Hellberg? Four words cover the essentials:
- Size = big, even huge at 6’5”.
- Calm = zen-like focus and concentration; allows the rest of the team to concentrate the other parts of the game
- Agility = Magnus be nimble, Magnus be quick, Magnus can jump over that hockey stick. Magnus uses his agility to recover better than most.
- Positioning = Magnus is very good at positioning to cut down the angles.
I suspect that Magnus will play for Frölunda next year to stick with his goalie coach but he would be eligible to play in the AHL as he has already been passed over twice in the draft. The only real question left is - can he challenge John Gibson for the first goalie chosen in the draft - answer to follow this month on day one (first round) or day two (the other rounds) of the draft.