The Winnipeg Jets have re-signed restricted free agent goalie Connor Hellebuyck to a six-year contract worth $37 million. The deal carries a $6.167 million per season AAV. This contract carries him through the 2023-24 season.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) July 12, 2018
Connor Hellebuyck has spent his entire three-year career with the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division. He has only played in 149 career NHL regular season games and 17 career Stanley Cup Playoff games. All of those games came during this past post-season, as he led the Jets to the Western Conference Final, where they would fall to the Vegas Golden Knights. He was originally drafted in the fifth round, 130th overall of the 2012 NHL draft by Winnipeg.
Last season, Hellebuyck played 67 games, going 44-11-9 with a 2.36 goals against average (GAA) and a save percentage of .924. This is up from his 2016-17 season, where Hellebuyck went 26-19-4 with a 2.89 GAA and .907 save percentage in 56 games. Hellebuyck’s calm and cool demeanour helped lead the Jets to the second-best record in the NHL. Hellybuyck’s strong play continued into the playoffs. Connor started all 17 playoff games for Winnipeg, finishing in the third round with nine wins and a 2.36 GAA and a save percentage of 0.922.
What this Means
Last summer, it was expected that Hellebuyck would face a challenge from Steve Mason for the Jets starting job. He quickly proved to be the team’s top goaltender, and proved himself one of the top goalies in the league, being nominated for the Vezina Trophy. The Jets essentially handed the net completely over to Hellebuyck when they traded Mason to Montreal on June 30th. Hellebuyck, 25, is emerging as a solid young starter. He is in the right age group to grow with the rest of the young Jets team, as they emerge as Stanley Cup Contenders and try to fulfill their promise over the next several seasons.
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