Filip Gustavsson, Minnesota Wild

Wild 2023-24 Report Cards: Filip Gustavsson

The anticipation for individual player evaluations has been building as the Minnesota Wild season has drawn to a close, and they’re finally here. These assessments will be given to each player who has played at least 20 games, including the three players traded away at the deadline, acknowledging their impact during their time with the team. Since the Wild didn’t make the postseason, we’ll look at a bad part of the player’s game, a good part, and then give their overall grade. 

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Starting our evaluations with the goaltenders this season, we delve into Filip Gustavsson‘s performance. As the first goaltender on the list, Gustavsson’s role was crucial, and his season was marked by ups and downs. Despite signing a decent-sized contract, he struggled to meet expectations, a point we’ll explore. 

Gustavsson’s Inconsistency

After watching him play all season, Gustavsson was not the same goaltender everyone saw in 2022-23. While a slight drop could be expected after such a strong performance the season before, he needed to bounce back, and unfortunately, he didn’t. He had small flashes of brilliance, but they went away as fast as they came, and the goaltender they relied on wasn’t there. 

Clearly, he has the potential, but for some reason, he couldn’t do what needed to be done. He couldn’t make the saves when they needed them most, and it cost them. Most of those losses were on the entire team, but having a save or two at crucial moments can make or break a game. It was clear he was struggling early on, but he couldn’t pinpoint why. 

A team can have all the scoring in the world, but if it can’t make a save, it won’t win games. His mental and physical game has to improve, and he needs to find a way to stay consistent. The Wild have two other goaltenders they may be able to rely on, and Gustavsson’s past performance may have sealed his fate in Minnesota.

Gustavsson Makes World Championship Team

Gustavsson struggled during the NHL season but did have some outstanding performances in a handful of games, which earned him a spot on the 2024 IIHF World Championship Team for Sweden along with Wild teammates Jonas Brodin, Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Johansson, and Jesper Wallstedt

Filip Gustavsson Minnesota Wild
Filip Gustavsson, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He may be unable to redeem himself from his season with the Wild, but he can get a fresh start on Team Sweden. He can forget about how the past season went and return to his game from before it. Hopefully, he can figure something out to stay with the Wild next season or make a good trade target if they choose to go that route.

Gustavsson’s Grade

Normally, I break the season down into a regular-season grade and then a postseason grade, but without a postseason, it’ll be just the regular season. Gustavsson is a hard case because he’s capable of so much more, but he lacked the ability to step up.

He played in 45 games and had a record of 20-18-4, which could definitely have been better. After watching his play, I saw he had small glimpses of great play, but it wouldn’t stay consistent. For these reasons, he’s looking at a D+ for a grade, and while that may seem low, keep in mind his team relied on him to step up multiple times throughout the season, and he didn’t. It could’ve also been lower, but since he had small glimpses of hope, he deserved a few points in that regard. 

However, with a grade that low, he has a lot of room to improve and get back to where it should be next season. He has a lot of work to do this offseason, but if he’s determined enough, he can get it done mentally and physically. He doesn’t have much room otherwise. If he doesn’t improve, the Wild will likely try to move him no matter what.

Related: Minnesota Wild 2023-24 Superlatives

It’s no guarantee the Wild will re-sign him, but if he gets his play back in order, they will likely try to keep him around, especially if they don’t feel confident enough in Wallstedt to have him up play a full season. In terms of Gustavsson, the Wild have to make a choice, and if last season has anything to do with it, he likely won’t be back next season.

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