COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Blue Jackets announced Tuesday that they have signed goaltender Elvis Merzlikins to a five-year contract extension worth $27 million.
Merzlikins, 27, has gone 21-21-13 with a 2.54 goals-against average, .920 save percentage and seven shutouts in 61 career NHL games.
“Elvis Merzlikins has been an important part of that over the past two seasons, so we are very excited to have agreed to terms on a contract extension that will keep him in Columbus for at least the next six years,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “He is big, athletic and has a tremendous passion for the game, and we believe he will be an integral part of our success in the coming years.”
Merzlikins, a Latvia native, was a third-round pick of the Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL draft.
He remains with the Blue Jackets after an accident this summer claimed the life his fellow goaltender and friend, Matiss Kivlenieks. An errant firework struck and killed Kivlenieks, 24, during a July 4 gathering at the home of goaltending coach Manny Legace.
When Merzlikins’ wife, Aleksandra, gave birth in August, they named their son Knox Matiss in Kivlenieks’ honor.