The Winnipeg Jets have re-signed goaltender Connor Hellebuyck to a one-year, $2.25 million contract. The deal allows both parties to avoid an arbitration hearing, which had been previously scheduled for August 1.
Winnipeg Jets Sign Connor Hellebuyck to One-Year Deal
Hellebuyck’s future with the Winnipeg Jets was put into question after the signing of Steve Mason to a two-year, $8.2 million contract earlier in the summer.
He was drafted by the Jets 130th overall in round five of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
The Jets ranked fourth-worst in the NHL last season for goals against, with a grand total of 255. Hellebuyck posted a .907 save percentage over a 56-game campaign. He allowed 146 goals against, and recorded a 2.89 goals against average.
Over 82 career games in the NHL, Hellebuyck has earned a respectable .910 save percentage, allowing an average of 2.71 goals against. He had a record of 26-19-4 last season.
Hellebuyck’s Contract and the Jets Goaltending Situation
After a shaky 2016-17 season, the Winnipeg Jets were in desperate need of a revamped crease. By acquiring Steve Mason, Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff secured a short term solution for his team’s goaltending mishaps.
At this point in time, Hellebuyck is not yet fit to be a starting goaltender in the NHL. The reigns will likely be handed to Mason, an experienced net minder with 463 career games under his belt. Despite holding the starting position over Michael Hutchinson last season, Hellebuyck’s career as a Jets starter is likely to be placed on hold.
When asked if Hellebuyck would remain as the Jets starter heading into next season, head coach Paul Maurice said he has “lots of faith that Connor can do it…not in a hurry to have him have to do that next year.”
This was before the Winnipeg Jets announced the signing of Mason.
A new contract provides Hellebuyck with hope for the future. While his position within the Jets organization has changed, the young net minder has been provided with the opportunity to stay for another year and learn from Mason.