NHL Free Agency 2018: Winnipeg Jets lock up Vezina Trophy finalist Connor Hellebuyck with new six-year contract

Offensive firepower hasn't been an issue for the Winnipeg Jets. Now they have a richly rewarded Vezina Trophy-finalist goalie. Connor Hellebuyck, who just last season was on a one-year deal for $2 million, agreed to a six-year, $37 million deal with the Jets that will begin next season, the team announced Thursday.

Hellebuyck was a key part of the Jets' success last season, posting a 44-11-9 record between the pipes for Winnipeg. He had a career-high save percentage of .924, a quality start percentage of .604 and an incredible goals saved above average of 23.75. The Jets made it to the Western Conference finals, where the Golden Knights won the series 4-1. He posted a save percentage of .922 in his first career postseason appearance.

The $6.167 million average annual value puts Hellebuyck between Capitals goalie Braden Holtby and 2017-18 Vezina Trophy winner Pekka Rinne.

The Jets are looking to build a sustainable contender, and a big part of that is continuity. Hellebuyck is now locked up for the next six years, star center Mark Scheifele is under contract through the 2023-24 season and winger Nikolaj Ehlers is signed until 2025. It's a good young core as the Jets try to contend in the West for years to come.

Hellebuyck was a restricted free agent coming into this offseason, though there was little doubt that the Jets would pay him. However, the security is undoubtedly a relief for fans.

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