Another talented young goaltender is set to join the New York Rangers. CapFriendly has reported the terms of a to-be-announced entry-level contract between New York and 2018 second-round pick Olof Lindbom. The Swedish netminder is set to sign a two-year deal worth an AAV of $925K. The NHL salary in 2022-23 will be $750K and in 2023-24 will be $775K, with an AHL salary of $70K for both years. The contract also includes a $185K signing bonus, split evenly between each season, and games played bonuses of $82.5K in year one and $57.5K in year two.
Lindbom, 21, was the first goalie off the board at No. 39 overall in the 2018 NHL Draft. Lindbom had dominated the U-18 World Juniors that year, recording a .949 save percentage and 1.66 GAA in six games, and the Rangers didn’t want to miss out on his potential. However, Lindbom’s development has not been straight-line. In the four years since he was drafted, Lindbom has only played in Sweden’s U-20 SuperElit league and second-tier pro Allsvenskan league, finding varying levels of success and not earning any SHL appearances. With that being said, 2021-22 was Lindbom’s best pro season as he posted a career-high .900 save percentage in a career-high 27 games for Kristianstads IK. While that .900 number may not seem elite, it ranked 17th in the Allsvenskan and 10th among goalies who played in at least half of their team’s games; it’s not a bad mark for such a young goalie.
While the signing of Lindbom was inevitable and the timing is not surprising, as the Rangers likely want to play a more direct role in his development, the addition of another young goalie adds to the logjam in New York. The Rangers have long dealt with a two-headed monster at the NHL level in Igor Shesterkin, who at 26 is already the Vezina Trophy favorite, and talented backup Alexandar Georgiev, who is also just 26. In the minors, a pair of former NCAA standouts are awaiting their chances for more opportunity. Adam Huska, who just turned 25, was the backup to Keith Kinkaid for the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack despite outplaying the veteran. Meanwhile, 24-year-old Tyler Wall only played in five AHL games due to the organizational net depth. There’s also Dylan Garand, a 2020 fourth-round pick who has already signed his ELC, played in a couple AHL games last year, and has been stellar in each of the past two seasons with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. The 19-year-old is ready for the next level. Lindbom will not be handed anything in New York; he will have to fight for his place on the depth chart like everyone else.