Wild sign Slovakian goalie Hlavaj to entry-level deal

The Minnesota Wild added a new goalie to the prospect pool on Friday, signing Slovakian netminder Samuel Hlavaj to an entry-level contract.

The two-year deal will start next season, according to a release from the club.

Hlavaj, 22, went undrafted but spent this season with HC Škoda Plzeň of the Czech Extraliga, posting a 3.10 goals-against average (GAA) and a .902 save percentage (SV%) in 28 games.

He’s a big goalie, at 6-foot-4, 193 pounds, and will join the organization’s other goalie prospects Hunter Jones, Zane McIntyre and Jesper Wallstedt, who may end up on the big-league squad next year.

Prior to this season, Hlavaj spent two seasons with HC Slovan Bratislava of the Slovakia League and recorded a 2.47 GAA, a .912 SV% and one shutout in 27 games. He also participated in the 2023 IIHF World Championship, posting a 2.22 GAA and a .932 SV% in three games and represented his country in the 2019-2021 Under-20 IIHF World Junior Championships. During that same period, he played for the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL, posting a 3.84 GAA, a .905 SV% and four shutouts in 59 games, and leading the league in GAA (2.25) during the 2019-20 season, which earned him QMJHL Defensive Rookie of the Year and spots on the QMJHL All-Rookie Team and QMJHL Second All-Star Team.

Minnesota is all but out of the playoff race this season with seven games left on the schedule and a matchup against Winnipeg up next on Saturday afternoon.