The Minnesota Wild, parent club of the AHL’s Houston Aeros, today announced the signing of free-agent goaltender Niklas Backstrom to a multi-year contract.
Backstrom, 28, posted a 32-9-10 record with a 1.68 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in 51 games with Karpat Oulu of the Finnish Elite League in 2005-06. He ranked first in the league in GAA and second in save percentage.
The 6-foot-2, 196-pound native of Helsinki was also a member of Finland’s silver medal team at the 2006 Winter Olympics and Finland’s bronze medal team at the 2006 World Championships.
Backstrom backstopped Karpat to back-to-back Finnish League championship in 2003 and 2004, and was named the league’s goalie of the year and playoff MVP in 2003-04.
Backstrom appeared in five games with Finland at the 2005 IIHF World Hockey Championships and sported a 1-3-1 record with a 2.32 GAA, a .902 save percentage and one shutout.