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Report: Devils had conversation with Jets about Hellebuyck

Rich Graessle / National Hockey League / Getty

The New Jersey Devils had a "conversation" with the Winnipeg Jets about goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported on Tuesday's edition of "Insider Trading."

Hellebuyck has one season left on his deal and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024. The 30-year-old's eligible to sign an extension with the Jets on July 1.

However, Hellebuyck said in April that he's feeling like he's running "out of time" to win a Stanley Cup after the Jets' 2022-23 season ended. He reportedly informed the team recently that he isn't interested in re-upping in Winnipeg.

As a result, the Vezina Trophy finalist is largely considered a top trade candidate this summer.

Hellebuyck will be due a substantial raise from his current $6.16-million cap hit. LeBrun said he believes Hellebuyck's camp is targeting a figure similar to Andrei Vasilevskiy's deal, which carries a $9.5-million price tag.

The Devils have around $26.4 million in projected cap space this summer but have 11 free agents on their active roster to contend with. Topping that list is pending restricted free-agent forward Timo Meier, who's currently working toward a long-term extension with general manager Tom Fitzgerald.

Three goalies saw time in the crease for New Jersey this season: Vitek Vanecek, Akira Schmid, and Mackenzie Blackwood.

Vanecek posted a 33-11-4 regular-season record with a .911 save percentage and 2.45 goals against average, but he struggled in the playoffs. The 27-year-old has two years remaining on his deal with a $3.4-million cap hit.

Schmid got into 18 contests during the regular season and put up some strong numbers. He shone in the playoffs, posting a .921 save percentage and 2.35 goals against average in nine showings. The 23-year-old can become a restricted free agent next summer.

A pending restricted free agent, Blackwood has battled injuries the past few campaigns and posted a sub-.900 save percentage for the second straight year this season.

Hellebuyck was again stellar for the lackluster Jets this campaign, registering a .920 clip over 64 showings while saving 30.11 goals above average and 33.62 goals above expected at all strengths, per Evolving Hockey.

He won the Vezina Trophy in 2020 and has been nominated for the hardware three times.

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