The Pittsburgh Penguins used their third-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to select Calle Clang, a six-foot-two, 176-pound goaltender from Sweden. This pick came as a bit of a surprise for Pens fans as the team had used their previous selection to draft Finnish goaltender Joel Blomqvist, however, it seems that both prospects were very high on the Penguins’ radar.
The 18-year-old goaltender was the 77th overall selection and the fourth-highest ranked European goaltender in the draft. Clang currently plays for Kristianstads IK of the HockeyAllsvenskan league in Sweden where he holds a 4-4 record through eight games this season and boasts an impressive 1.81 GAA and a .939 Save Percentage. Clang previously played for Rogle BK’s junior team where he posted a 2.64 GAA and a .913 Save Percentage. The Athletic’s scouting report on Clang has him listed as a “smart, steady goaltender who reads the play and tracks pucks well.” Clang’s size and stature fit the bill of an NHL-caliber goaltender, and his career statistics tell a story of a player who adapts well to more challenging opponents and a stronger pace of play, something that may suggest he could exceed his potential. His confidence, composure and mental toughness after allowing a goal made him an attractive prospect for the Pens organization.
At the start of the 2019-20 season, Clang was projected to be, at best, a seventh-round draft pick which further proves that he has exceeded expectations and raised his draft stock by a large margin this past season. His impressive year saw him rise from a potentially undrafted prospect to an exciting third-round pick. This keeps Clang in the discussion as an underrated prospect with a lot of potential and a lot to prove.
The Swedish netminder will be on display for Penguins fans to see soon enough as he is one of two goaltenders at the team Sweden training camp for the upcoming World Junior Championships. Clang will likely be Sweden’s number one goalie and Pens fans will hopefully get their first glimpse of their new prospect as early as December 26th, when Sweden opens their campaign against the Czech Republic. He was a part of Sweden’s gold medal-winning team at the U18 World Juniors a year ago.
Penguins fans should be excited about their new goaltending prospect, however, it is likely that Clang will need ample time to develop before potentially breaking into the NHL. He will continue to develop overseas before transitioning to North America where he will see time in the AHL for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.