Save Percentage: .918
In the summer of 2006, the Wild signed little known Finnish goaltender Niklas Backstrom, to: 1. Fill the vacant roster spot left by Dwayne Roloson and 2. Back up Manny Fernandez. Backstrom had put up solid numbers playing for Oulun Karpat of the Finnish SM-liiga league (32-9-10-10, 1.68 GAA in his final season there), and decided to come play alongside the world's best players.
Following a Manny Fernandez knee injury in late January of 2007, Backstrom was thrown into the Wild's net as their number one goalie. He helped lead the team to their second playoff appearance, and earned his spot as the Wild's number one goalie. Its a position he still holds this day.
To date, Backstrom holds the following records for a Wild goaltender: Wins (160), Save percentage (.918), and Saves (9,213). His best season in the NHL, was by far, his first. He went 23-8-6-5 with a GAA of 1.97 and a save percentage of .929 in just 41 games. He has not come close to touching those in the seasons since.
But despite a bit of a fallback on the numbers, Backstrom has been a rock for the Wild in net (Except for maybe shootouts...). He has done a good job in keeping the Wild in games, especially in the ultra fierce Northwest Division.
Niklas Backstrom had some very tough holes to fill, when he followed Fernandez and Roloson between the pipes. But, he did far better than any of us had hoped, and he has cemented himself, as the best goalie in the franchise's short history.
Check back tomorrow to see who comes in at #6!
#10-Dwayne Roloson/Manny Fernandez
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