And the 31-year-old goalkeeper has also set a unique NHL achievement.
A few years ago Magnus Hellberg considered one of the strongest goaltenders in the KHL. For three seasons he was the first number of SKA and fought for the Gagarin Cup. True, the trophy was never won. In the spring of this year, the Swedish goalkeeper made a second attempt to play in NHL. But for now, he’s been doing more team travel than playing in the best league in the world.
2022 is a year full of travel for Hellberg:
April: Magnus spent last season at Sochi, where he was traded in the summer of 2021 from SKA. He did not spend his last year in St. Petersburg very well, which is why the transition happened. The KHL regular season was completed ahead of schedule, and Sochi did not make it to the playoffs, so already in April Hellberg went overseas. He signed with Detroit until the end of the season. For the Red Wings, the Swede played only one match with New Jersey: he won, repelled 23 of 26.
July: Hellberg became an unrestricted free agent and in this status signed a contract with Seattle for one year and $750,000.
October: In training camp, Magnus did not convince the Seattle coaching staff. Already on October 2, a few days before the start of the regular season, he was put up for a waiver draft. After going through this procedure, he could be sent to the farm club, but this did not happen, since Ottawa decided to pick up the goalkeeper. It happened because Senators goaltender Cam Talbot was out for 5-7 weeks with an injury and the team urgently needed a replacement.
On October 24, Hellberg played his first game for Ottawa, parried 29 out of 31 shots against Dallas (4:2). In this meeting, he managed to go down in league history, becoming the first goaltender in the NHL who managed to win the first three victories in the league, each time winning with his new team. That is, earlier Magnus once won a match in the Rangers, then won once in Detroit, and then helped Ottawa.
November: On November 9, the Swede again found himself in a bounce draft. And again it is taken by another team. Magnus returns to Seattle, whose goalkeepers are constantly injured. The cycle of Hellberg’s name does not end there. He will never play for the Krakens. On November 22, it is again exhibited on the waiver. And now he is returning to Detroit, where he left six months ago.
In those six months, Hellberg had more transfers (5) than NHL appearances (2). At the same time, he did not play in the AHL during this time. For each team, the goalkeeper had his own equipment ready. He can definitely claim the title of the most stylish goalkeeper.
Hellberg is 31, which is a small age for a goalkeeper. It is distinguished by impressive dimensions (height -197 cm, weight – 95 kg), which attracts clubs. This is not his first overseas trip. Selected in the second round of the Nashville Nashville Draft, he spent three seasons in that club’s system. Then, for two years, he tried to break into the Rangers, but played only three games in the NHL. At the age of 26, he left for Kunlun, and from there to SKA.
Probably, if not for the political situation, Hellberg could return to the KHL again. However, the Swedish players are reluctant to go to Russia, so, apparently, Magnus will cling to the last chance overseas. I wonder if he will continue to travel around the league or will it all end with Detroit?
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