The Nashville Predators' goaltending situation just got a little more interesting, with news that 2011 2nd-round draft pick Magnus Hellberg (the first goalie taken, at #38 overall) will come over to North America for the 2012-2013 season.
Will this mean the end of Anders Lindback as the Predators backup?
This report, translated via Google, comes from the Gothenberg Post:
Ice hockey goalkeeper announced the club on Friday that he uses his NHL clause and sign a contract with the Nashville Predators.
21-year-old acted as backup to the Danish Frederik Andersen during parts of last year's season.
"When the situation with the goalkeepers in Frölunda being what it is, I feel that I need to move me to not stay in the development," says Hellberg said in a statement.
Last season, the Predators had five goalies in their system over here - Pekka Rinne & Lindback in Nashville, Jeremy Smith & Atte Engren in Milwaukee, and Chet Pickard in Cincinnati. Engren may well head back to Europe this summer, while Pickard continues to spin his wheels in the ECHL, so it shouldn't be too hard to find playing time for Hellberg either as Milwaukee's starter or Nashville's backup. One would presume there will be a battle in training camp with Jeremy Smith for the opportunity to earn NHL vs. AHL pay.
According to this report, Hellberg has one more year left on his contract with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League, but has an out-clause for coming over here which had to be exercised by today.