Revisiting the Oilers’ draft decision in 2021 to select Xavier Bourgault instead of goalkeepers – the Athletic


He was there, waiting for the Oilers to select him. A true franchise goaltender, from Sweden no less, fell to the Edmonton Oilers in the 2021 NHL Draft. Fans after the draft were shouting Jesper Wallstedt in all caps on Twitter and message boards as Edmonton’s round arrived with the No. 20 selection.

General manager Ken Holland took another direction, relinquishing to acquire additional selection.

The trade will read forever as Edmonton swapping number 20 (Wallstedt) to the Minnesota Wild for number 22 (Xavier Bourgault) and number 90 (Luca Munzenberger).

I think it takes five years to properly assess a trade and there are rare times when more time is needed, but we can follow the indicators up and down throughout those five years. What is the trade like so far? Let’s take a look.

Junior Worlds

Wallstedt was one of the first stars at the world junior championships, winning both games he’s been in while posting a 1.50 goals-against average and .962 save percentage. He stopped 27 of 30 against the Russians, while Matvei Michkov scored two goals in a 6-3 win over Sweden. Wallstedt then shut out Slovakia, stopping 48 shots.

It was a small sample, but it would be hard to come up with a better story than the one Wallstedt was building at the world junior championships.

Bourgault played for Canada in one game before injuring himself while Munzenberger scored a goal and an assist while playing big minutes for Germany.


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