A minor, yet intriguing deal from the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft — the Winnipeg Jets have acquired the negotiating rights to Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson for a conditional 7th-round pick in 2013.
Before signing with Toronto in 2009, “The Monster” was once considered one of the finest goalies not playing in the NHL while starring for Farjestads of the Swedish Elite League.
The 27-year-old has spent the last three seasons with the Leafs, occasionally flirting with the starting gig, posting a 39-45-15 record with a .900 save percentage and 2.98 GAA.
Gustavsson will be a UFA when his deal (that pays $1.35 million annually) expires on July 1.
That Winnipeg decided to pick up his negotiating rights is intriguing. Ondrej Pavelec is an impending RFA and rumored to have a massive deal on the table from the KHL and last year’s backup, Chris Mason, is 35 and set to become a UFA on July 1.
It’s possible the Jets are bringing Gustavsson aboard in a backup role — or, if things go completely pear-shaped with Pavelec and Mason, as a contender for the starting gig.