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Annunen Signs Multi-Year Extension With Avalanche



Avalanche Annunen

The Colorado Avalanche must be really happy with what they’ve seen from Justus Annunen over the last month and a half.

As first reported by Kevin Weekes, the Avalanche are locking down the 24 year old goaltender for two more years. According to Weekes, it will come with a cap hit of around $833,000. The insider reports it will be a one-way deal, meaning that if Annunen was to be sent to the Colorado Eagles at any point, he would still make his NHL salary. Starting next season, Annunen will require waivers in order to be sent to the AHL.

The young goaltender is currently making $775,000, but on a two-way deal that pays him $225,000 in the AHL.

Moments after this article was published, the Avalanche confirmed the report.

A two-year deal for Annunen at such a low cap hit is really a zero-risk move by Colorado. If it doesn’t work out, you can easily move on from him or send him to the AHL. On the flip side, if Annunen develops into a full-time backup goaltender or perhaps even more, Colorado is getting tremendous value for what they’d be paying him.

A two year extension means that Annunen will still be a restricted free agent at the end of the deal, so Colorado will continue to control his rights. Starting goaltender Alexandar Georgiev has one year remaining on his contract after this season.

Annunen is set to start on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, and since coming up after the NHL Trade Deadline, he’s provided the Avalanche with solid goaltending. In eight games played this season, he has a record of 5-2-1. With a 2.38 goals against average and a .926 save percentage, it’s hard to ask for much more than what he’s given them. He hasn’t had to play against any elite teams, but you can’t fault him for that. It’s not like he has any say in who he gets to start against.

Here is what Chris MacFarland had to say about Annunen.

“Justus is a hard-working young goaltender who has earned this opportunity to compete at the NHL level,” said Avalanche General Manager Chris MacFarland. “He has continued to improve and develop his game in the AHL and has played well in his apperances with the Avalanche. We are excited to have him under contract for the next two seasons.”

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