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Wild sign goaltender Gustafsson to rookie contract

Associated Press

5/31/2012 9:44:37 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild have signed have signed rookie goaltender Johan Gustafsson to a three-year, entry-level contract.

The Wild announced the signing on Thursday, giving them five picks from the 2010 draft under contract. The 20-year-old Gustafsson had a 1.68 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in the Swedish Elite League this season. He also helped lead Sweden to the gold medal at the 2012 world junior championship.

Gustafsson was a sixth-round pick in 2010. He will help add depth to the organization at goaltender behind Niklas Backstrom. It also could increase the likelihood that free agent veteran Josh Harding does not return.

Backstrom is entering the final year of his deal and the Wild also have Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper with their AHL team in Houston.