When the Red Wings selected Filip Larsson 167th overall in the sixth round of the 2016 draft, nobody really batted an eye. You don’t really do eye-bats for sixth-round goalies. At the time, Kyle called him a low-risk, high-reward pick and it seems Larsson is nearing the cusp of laying out whether he’s going to be rewarding.
Born: August 17, 1998 (21 years old)
Birthplace: Stockholm, SWE
Height/Weight: 6’2” / 181 lbs
University of Denver: 22 Games Played, 13-6-3, 1.95GAA, .932 SV%
21st on last year’s Top 25 Under 25 list
Seriously though, Larsson has put up impressive numbers and is functionally sound. He’s previously been described as a “good blocking goalie” and as “very calm.” So he’s no Dominik Hasek, but the mark of today’s good goalie is a guy who makes saves consistently that don’t involve big movements.
Larsson has had injury problems which have hampered him all the way back to his draft year, especially to his groin. When he’s been healthy he’s been good but that’s going to be a big question mark for him going forward.
It looks very much like Larsson is going to be given this year to prove whether he can move into the position of “goalie of the future.” for the Wings. After his one standout season at the University of Denver he’s been signed to his ELC and is expected to play this season in Grand Rapids where he’ll compete on the depth chart with guys like Kaden Fulcher, Pat Nagle, and Calvin Pickard.
In other words, he’ll be given all the opportunity he needs to prove that he’s the guy the team will want to invest in during the part of the Red Wings’ rebuild cycle where they’ll be moving on from Jimmy Howard and promoting whomever they expect to win playoff series for them in those coming years.
Next year Larsson should be either much higher or much lower on this list. I’m curious to find out where.
2019 Red Wings Top 25 Under 25:
25: Vili Saarijarvi
24: Ryan O’Reilly
23: Joe Hicketts
22: Albert Johansson
21: Robert Mastrosimone
20: Jack Adams
19: Albin Grewe
18: Otto Kivenmaki
17: Oliwer Kaski
16: Christoffer Ehn