Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes agree to 3-year extension

Mar 21, 2022, 3:36 PM | Updated: 3:40 pm

Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong announced on Monday that goaltender Karel Vejmelka has signed a three-year extension with Arizona.

“That was our goaltender we were going to move forward with in the future,” Armstrong told Arizona Sports’ Burns & Gambo.

According to PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan, the contract carries an annual average value of $2.73 million.

Vejmelka, 25, carries a 3.35 goals against average and .905 save percentage into this week. Arizona is 10-23-1 with Vejmelka in net.

The signing comes after the Coyotes on Sunday traded veteran goaltender Scott Wedgewood to the Dallas Stars for a conditional fourth-round pick ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

“Wedgewood had played extremely well,” Armstrong said. “We just explored the fact that we could move him for an asset.

“We put it out there and teams came back and gave us a third to Dallas — if they make the playoffs it turns into a third, if not it’s a fourth. That was good value for a goaltender we picked up off waivers.”

Wedgewood, 29, made 23 starts for the Coyotes this year and led the team in save percentage (.911) and goals against average (3.06). Vejmelka’s 34 starts combine with Wedgewood’s 23 to make up for the majority of Arizona’s goalie rotation this year.

Wedgewood is a journeyman that has bounced around several hockey clubs at both the NHL and AHL levels before seeing the most success of his NHL career with the Coyotes this season. He had previously played for Arizona in the 2017-18 season.

Both players were set to be free agents this offseason. Vejmelka would have been a restricted free agent.

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