Joonas Korpisalo, Blue Jackets agree to two-year contract extension

With Joonas Korpisalo in the midst of his best NHL season yet, the Blue Jackets have made sure he’s not going anywhere.

Columbus signed the Finnish goalie to a two-year contract extension on Friday, ensuring that his short-term future will be with the team. According to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline, the deal has an AAV of $2.8 million per year, with Korpisalo making $2.2 million in 2020-21 and $3.4 million the following year. The 25-year-old netminder was set to be a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Korpisalo, a third-round draft pick back in 2012, has been steadily improving since he entered the league in 2015. He’s played the best hockey of his career this season, posting career-highs in wins (19), shutouts (two) and saves (938) and matching his best goals-against average (2.60). From Nov. 1 to March 12, he was also fifth in GAA (2.31) and tied for ninth in save percentage (.920) in the NHL. 

“Joonas had the opportunity to play a lot of games for us early in the season before he was injured and responded by playing at an All-Star level,” Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in the team press release. “He is a young, talented goaltender with a great work ethic and desire to succeed and we are very excited to see his continued development and improvement moving forward.”

The extension locks up Columbus’ new No. 1 netminder after the team lost long-time starter Sergei Bobrovsky to the Florida Panthers via free agency last summer. Since being handed the starting role, Korpisalo has backstopped Columbus to a 19-12-5 record in 2019-20 despite being sidelined for almost two months after undergoing knee surgery in late December. He was named to the 2020 NHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career, although he missed out due to his injury.

With the rest of the season hanging in the balance, Columbus currently sits in the final wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of the Islanders. 

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