The University of Denver will deliver perhaps the slick tick-tack-toe goaltending move of the 2019 off-season. Out is Filip Larsson, the outstanding Swedish freshman goaltender for DU, who has signed a three-year entry level NHL contract on Monday, April 15th with the Detroit Red Wings, the team that drafted him in the sixth round of the 2016 NHL Draft. At DU, Larsson, 20, teamed with Devin Cooley to form one of the best goaltender tandems in College Hockey, leading Denver to the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four.
Without missing a beat, sources close to the DU program told LetsGoDU that the program anticipated Larsson’s early NHL signing and has lined up a replacement in the pipeline in 2018 5th-round Tampa Bay Lightning draftee, Magnus Chrona. He played in Northern Sweden for Skellefteå AIK J20 in the Swedish SuperElite Junior League. Outside one of the best names in hockey, the Pioneers landed the outstanding 6’4″, 209-lb Chrona, who also attended Tampa Bay’s Development Camp last year. While Chrona hasn’t yet officially signed with DU, it appears the Pioneers won’t miss a beat with the transition to next season.
And don’t discount junior-to-be Devin Cooley for DU next season. His .934 save percentage over 20 games led DU this past season. The new goal tending tandem will give the Pioneers an effective one-two punch in front of the net. Cooley has NCHC experience, 20 games of DI experience and the confidence of his teammates and coaches. Add the new addition of Magnus Chrona, and DU should roll out a solid-to- elite set of netminders for next season’s campaign.
And, of course, the best of luck to Filip Larsson who did a great job this past season for Denver as he begins his professional career.
Larsson went 13-6-3 with a 1.95 goals against average, 11th in the NCAA and 3rd among NCAA freshmen, .932 save percentage, 6th in the NCAA and 2nd among NCAA freshmen and four shutouts in his freshman season. The Red Wings’ sixth round selection shined for the Pioneers in the postseason, starting in six of Denver’s seven games with a 4-2-0 record, 1.12 GAA, .962 SV% and three shutouts.
Larsson is expected to play with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL next season, the Wings’ top minor league affiliate. Also joining Larsson in Grand Rapids will be fellow DU teammate Jarid Lukosevicius, a graduating senior forward who also signed a two-year AHL deal with Grand Rapids today.
“Filip, although his time was short with us, made a huge impact on our team this season,” DU Head Coach David Carle said in a press release. “These decisions are very tough on student-athletes and that’s a testament to Filip’s character and what Denver means to him. He is ready for the next level and we can’t wait to cheer him on and watch his successes.”
The Pioneers’ recent success with Scandinavian recruits has been a major reason for the Pioneers climb into a top four NCAA program. Henrik Borgstrom (Finland), Jaakko Heikkinen (Finland), Emilio Petterson (Norway), Filip Larsson (Sweden) and now Magnus Chrona are just some of the latest Scandinavian players to don the Crimson and Gold.