Helle­buyck gets big bucks from Jets

Journal Pioneer - - SPORTS -

Connor Helle­buyck is cash­ing in af­ter a break­out sea­son that saw him emerge as one of the top goal­tenders in the NHL. The Win­nipeg Jets an­nounced Thurs­day they’ve signed Helle­buyck to a six-year, US$37mil­lion con­tract with an av­er­age an­nual value of $6.167 mil­lion. The 25-year-old from Com­merce, Mich., was a fi­nal­ist for the Vez­ina Tro­phy as the league’s top goalie last sea­son af­ter ap­pear­ing in a ca­reer-high 67 games, set­ting sin­gle-sea­son fran­chise records for wins (44), shutouts (six), and save per­cent­age (.924). “Helly has al­ways been pro­jected in our mind as a No.1 goal­tender and the goal­tender of the fu­ture for us,” Jets GM Tim Chevel­day­off said dur­ing a con­fer­ence call. “We’re very very ex­cited we were able to come to a long-term agree­ment for now and for the fu­ture. “Ob­vi­ously the train­ing and ma­tu­rity that was in his game from the years prior to now is about be­com­ing a pro.” Helle­buyck signed a one-year, $2.25-mil­lion deal with Win­nipeg prior to last sea­son. He posted a 9-8 record in this year’s play­offs with two shutouts, 2.36 goal­sagainst av­er­age and .922 save per­cent­age as the jets reached the Western Con­fer­ence fi­nal. “This is ex­cit­ing for many rea­sons,” Helle­buyck said. “But mainly be­cause I love it here and I want to be part of this team. “I re­ally be­lieve this team has what it takes.” In 149 ca­reer NHL reg­u­lar-sea­son games, Helle­buyck has an 8341-14 record with 12 shutouts, a 2.55 GAA, and .917 save per­cent­age. His 70 wins over the last two sea­sons are eighth most in the NHL. Helle­buyck was a re­stricted free agent and had filed for salary ar­bi­tra­tion be­fore sign­ing his deal. He said his goal now is to prove he’s not a one-sea­son won­der.

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