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Maple Leafs Sign Young Swedish Goalie Erik Kallgren for Two Years

The Toronto Maple Leafs shored up its goalie prospects by signing young Swede Erik Kallgren for two years. What’s Kallgren’s history?

According to NHL.com, the Toronto Maple Leafs today signed young goalie Erik Kallgren to a two-year, two-way contract. The contract, whenever he plays in the NHL, is worth an AAV of $750,000 USD.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Keefe Hints: Physicality’s Part of the Deal, Bring It On!

Kallgren’s an Interesting Story

Kallgren’s an interesting story. He was drafted by the Arizona Coyotes during the seventh round (183rd overall) of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Like most young hockey draftees, he came to North America to play during 2019 and played five games between the AHL and ECHL. Then, because the Coyotes had a great deal of depth at the goalie position and the organization simply thought he wouldn’t be given an opportunity, he was unconditionally released.

Instead of staying in North America, Kallgren decided to return home to play in Sweden. Flash ahead, and he put up a record of 12-9-0 this season with Vaxjo HC. He had a solid season with a goals-against-average of 2.37 and a save percentage .911. Then came the playoffs, and he caught fire – putting up a 7-3-0 with a goals-against-average of 1.74 and a save percentage .937.

Kallgren Is, of Course, Good Friends with Pontus Holmberg

Interestingly for the Maple Leafs, Kallgren’s Vaxjo club is also where Pontus Holmberg plays. Holmberg is a young center that the Maple Leafs chose as a flyer late (sixth round, 156th overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Holmberg’s been a great surprise and has had a breakout playoff round during the SHL playoffs that helped lead his team to the championship.

Pontus Holmberg, Maple Leafs Prospect

Obviously both young players played really well during the SHL playoffs, and the Maple Leafs believed it was wise to ink Kallgren to an NHL contract. Although the Maple Leafs have stockpiled good young prospects in the system, their depth chart at the goalie level is a bit of a mystery. Joseph Woll didn’t play as well as expected with the Toronto Marlies and Ian Scott simply hasn’t played much because an injury and subsequent surgery – and then of course COVID-19.

Kallgren’s a Nice Addition to the Maple Leafs Prospect Pool

There might be a space in the organization Kallgren could fill. He’ll likely join the Toronto Marlies or Newfoundland Growlers next season. It looks like a great addition to the Maple Leafs’ group of young prospects. Now, it would be fun to see Holmberg sign and bring his skills to North American ice.

Related: Toronto Maple Leafs Make Lineup and Organizational Changes

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