Preds prospect Magnus Hellberg named AHL Goalie of the Month…

Magnus Hellberg (1st pick, 2nd rd, 38) -- BANNER

When the Nashville Predators took him in the second round, Magnus Hellberg became the first goaltender taken in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. After being buried under a red hot goalie in Frolunda last year and seeing limited playing time as a result, Hellberg is playing his first season in North America in 2012-13.

And the Milwaukee Admirals are happy to have him.

The 6’5″, Uppsala, Sweden, native struggled in the transition early on but found a groove in February. He went 6-1-0 during the month and was nearly unbeatable with a .950 save-percentage.

Along with starter Jeremy Smith, Hellberg gives the Ads a strong one-two punch between the pipes. Now only if they could find some scoring…

The official press release is below.

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Milwaukee, WI– The American Hockey League announced today that Magnus Hellberg of the Milwaukee Admirals has been selected as the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for February.

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.

Hellberg is the first Ads goalie since Mark Dekanich in February of 2010 to receive the honor.

Hellberg and the Admirals will return to the BMO Harris Bradley Center ice Friday, March 1 at 7:00 pm versus the Grand Rapids Griffins. For tickets fans should call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or by logging ontowww.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 10 or more receive significant discounts off the original ticket price. For more information, or to purchase group tickets, fans can call the Admirals office at (414) 227-0550.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // section303.com