April 23, 2020 / 10:40 PM / 2 months ago

Blue Jackets G Merzlikins signs two-year extension

FILE PHOTO: Feb 24, 2020; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ottawa Senators left wing Anthony Duclair (10) skates as he collides with Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) in the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets signed rookie goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to a two-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season, the team announced Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the Blue Jackets, however TSN reported that the deal has an average annual value of $4 million.

Merzlikins’ contract extension comes nearly one week after fellow Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo signed a two-year contract extension through the 2021-22 season.

Merzlikins, 26, posted a 13-9-8 record with five shutouts, a 2.35 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in 33 games this season. His shutout total is tied for second in the NHL, while his GAA is fifth-best among goaltenders that have appeared in a minimum of 20 games.

Merzlikins became the sixth goaltender — and second rookie — since 1929-30 to record five shutouts in a span of eight games after accomplishing the feat from Jan. 11-Feb. 7. He posted an 8-0-0 record with a 1.00 GAA and .967 save percentage in that span.

“We’ve believed for several years that Elvis Merzlikins was the best goaltender outside the NHL while he was playing in Switzerland, and this year he has shown that he has the ability and drive to be a very good goaltender in this league,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said.

“He is quick, athletic and driven to succeed and we are excited to see what the future holds for Elvis and our hockey club.”

—Field Level Media

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