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Arizona Coyotes sign FA goalie Karel Vejmelka to 1-year deal

The Coyotes logo on the ice during the NHL hockey game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Arizona Coyotes on March 26, 2019 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Coyotes added some depth to their goalie position on Wednesday, signing NHL free agent Karel Vejmelka to a one-year deal for the 2021-22 season.

Per CapFriendly, the entry level contract is worth $925,000 and carries an $842,500 cap hit in 2021-22.

The plan is for Vejmelka to play with the team’s AHL-affiliate Tucson Roadrunners next season, according to Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan.

Vejmelka was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2015 NHL Draft by the Nashville Predators, but has since played overseas.

“We are very pleased to sign Karel,” Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong said in a press release. “He is a talented young goaltender with the combination of size and quickness. We look forward to working with him next season and will monitor his development.”

The 6-foot-4, 202-pounder posted a 2.79 goals against average, a .911 save percentage and three shutouts over the course of 35 games with HC Kometa Brno of the Czech League last season.

Vejmelka has played a total of nine seasons in the Czech League with HC Kometa Brno, Dukla Jihlava and HC Pardubice. The 24-year-old has a career .913 save percentage and a 77-84-0 record.

He has won two Extraliga Championships and took home silver at the Under-18 World Championships.

The Coyotes currently have goaltenders Darcy Kuemper, Antti Raanta and Adin Hill on the roster. Raanta’s contract is up after the season, while Hill is a restricted free agent.


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