After having a very solid year last season, goalie Connor Hellebuyck signed a six-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets that is worth a total of $37 million.
Hellebuyck had an amazing season that resulted in him being a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. He put up exceptional numbers, with a save percentage of .924 and a goals-against average of 2.36 in 67 games. His 44 wins tied Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy for the most in the NHL last season. Hellebuyck led the Jets to the second-best record in the NHL and a spot in the Western Conference Final.
The contract will have a cap hit of $6,166,666 a year until the 2023-24 season, when Hellebuyck turns 30.
He should still be in his prime then, and the Jets will be hoping that this past season was not just a fluke. It is sometimes difficult to see what a goalie will develop into. To give a comparison to this contract, Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks signed a contract that went into effect in the 2014-15 season that was also six years in length, but worth a little less, at $36 million (a cap hit of six million dollars).
The biggest difference between these two contracts is the age at which they went into effect; Hellebuyck’s contract will go into effect this year, when he is still 25, and will end when he is 31 (his birthday is in May, so his last season would be mostly when Hellebuyck is 30). Crawford’s contract went into effect when he was 29, and he will be 35 years of age.
Hellebuyck signed a one-year deal last offseason to stay with the Jets for $2.25 million. The Jets obviously believe he will be their long-term option, as he is under contract until he is 30 and will be making over six million dollars a season.