After re-signing both Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman to eight year extensions, the Tampa Bay Lightning have turned their attention to goal, re-upping Andrei Vasilevskiy for another three seasons, according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet. Vasilevskiy was still under contract for 2016-17, so the extension comes into effect after next season at $3.5MM per.
After being drafted in the first round in 2012, Vasilevskiy has continued his dominance of the KHL, AHL and now NHL, succeeding at every level. Though the Lightning have former star goaltender Ben Bishop still under contract for next season, it would appear as though Vasilevskiy has taken over as the number one guy after performing well in the playoffs.
Since his extension doesn’t come into effect until after next season, the $5.95MM that is owed to Bishop isn’t completely handcuffing. The Lightning will still be paying less than $7MM total next season for what would be one of the best duos in the league.
Vasilevskiy, still only 21-years old, played 24 games last season with a .910 save percentage, but really made his mark in the playoffs where he increased that mark to .925. Even if he falters next season with a bigger workload, he looks like one of the best young goaltenders in the league, and is now under contract for a very reasonable cap hit.