Nashville Predators draft goaltender Magnus Hellberg with #38 pick

With the #38 pick in today's 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators selected Swedish goaltender Magnus Hellberg, a 6'5" keeper who should fit in well with fellow Scandinavian skyscrapers Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback.

In Lou We Trust, SB Nation's New Jersey Devils blog, profiled Hellberg recently (I highly recommend you head over and read their article):

How does he stack up against his fellow goaltending prospects? That's a bit murky.  The Goalie Guild has a top 100 of all prospect goalies, which appears to be all non-NHL goalies. The 2011 draft eligible goalies are near the bottom, which makes sense since most of the list are AHL netminders.  Per their latest list (warning: it takes some time to load) Hellberg is ranked ahead of John Gibson (#1 NA goalie, #92), Christopher Gibson (#2 NA goalie, #90), and even Samu Perhonen (#1 European goalie, #97) at 88th.  I'm not sure what goes into their rankings; nor do I know how valid they are.  But it's someone's opinion that they think Hellberg is superior to other draft-eligible netminders.

Hellberg plays with Altuma in Sweden's second division, and put up a .935 save percentage and 2.05 Goals Against Average in 31 games last season, with 5 shutouts. I wouldn't expect him to come over to North America for a while yet. Drafting goaltenders this high is always a dicey proposition, as the development process seems especially long and uncertain for them.

Currently behind Rinne and Lindback, the Predators have a pending free agent in Mark Dekanich, and prospects Chet Pickard, Jeremy Smith, and Atte Engren under contract. Hellberg presumably won't put pressure on any of those guys for at least a year or two.

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