It looks like Nashville Predators prospect Magnus Hellberg is beginning to adjust to the North American game. The 21-year-old AHL rookie has been named the league’s Goalie Of The Month after a breakout month of February with the Milwaukee Admirals. From the Nashville Predators’ press release:
In what was one of the greatest months for a goalie in Admirals history, Hellberg went 6-1-0 with a 1.36 goals-against average, a .950 save percentage and two shutouts for the Admirals.
Entering February on a personal six-game losing streak, Hellberg was perfect (six saves) in one period of relief work vs. Chicago on Feb. 1, and then got back in the win column on Feb. 10 with a 30-save effort in a 1-0 shutout win over Peoria. He made 29 stops and was named the game’s first star in a 2-1 win over Abbotsford on Feb. 12, and later picked up his sixth consecutive victory with 25 saves in a 2-0 win at Hamilton on Feb. 24.
Hellberg, 21, was a second-round choice (38th overall) by the Nashville Predators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Uppsala, Sweden, is in his first season of play in North America and owns a record of 10-7-0 with a 2.40 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and two shutouts in 20 games with the Admirals.
This is Magnus Hellberg’s first season in the AHL. He had a rough time in the early going, posting a 3.15 GAA and .899 save percentage through his first 12 games and at one point losing six starts in a row. In his eight appearances in February, he gave up just 10 goals on 200 shots.
Hellberg has started about one-third of the Milwaukee Admirals’ games this season. His sudden burst of high-level play has come at a good time, since number-one starter Jeremy Smith gave up 24 goals in his four starts in February. As of March 1st, the Admirals are in third place in the AHL’s Midwest Division with a record of 25 wins, 22 regulation losses, three overtime losses, and three shootout losses. They currently trail the first-place Grand Rapids Griffins by eight points.