Name: Jesper Wallstedt
League: Swedish Hockey League (SHL)
Team: Luleå HF
Age/DOB: 17-years-old, November 14th, 2002
Birthplace: Västerås, Sweden, Europe
Potential Draft Round: Early first-round
NHL Potential: Vezina Calibre Goaltender
Wallstedt has all the makings of a potential NHL star. the 17-year-old goaltender has started off the season competing in the SHL, known as Sweden’s top men’s league. In doing so, the backstop has looked great.
It is rare for teenage backstops to receive a call up to start SHL games, much less, put up strong numbers as Wallstedt has. The goaltender has looked rather solid through the three games he’s played in to start his career as a pro. Wallstedt become the youngest player to ever play in the Swedish U20 league, breaking a new record.
This overtakes Victor Headman, this year’s recipient of the annual Conn Smythe Trophy. As well, he became the youngest player ever to score a goal in the league, which is rather unheard of. That of course considering the fact that Wallstedt, from Västerås, is in fact a goaltender.
Wallstedt, who catches with his left, has that rare ability to take a game over by himself. Similarly to Yaroslav Askarov, who was selected 11th in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Wallstedt, 17-years-old, is one of the most highly regarded young backstops in the world. Wallstedt plays with a butterfly style and excels at tracking the puck.
He does a good job locating the puck with traffic in front of him in order to make saves. He is also very confident playing the puck, similarly to Montreal’s Carey Price in that sense. Wallstedt has stood over six-feet tall since before he was 14-years-old.
His size has been a big part of his game and the way he uses his size to cover more areas of the net already screams NHL star. The Swedish netminder has had unprecedented success in his young career overseas to date. He has all the makings of an NHL star and has the skill and potential necessary be a top-five pick in next year’s NHL Entry Draft. Although it’s extremely difficult to accomplish this as a goaltender, Wallstedt could even fight to be the first overall selection in 2021.
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