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Avalanche sign goaltender Justus Annunen to two-year contract

Justus Annunen’s recent run of form has helped solidify the Colorado Avalanche’s plans in net for this season and now beyond.

Annunen signed a two-year, one-way contract Tuesday with the Avalanche that will run through the 2025-26 season. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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

Annunen, who turned 24 years old earlier this month, began the season with the Colorado Eagles, but has been the backup for the Avs since mid-January. He is 5-2-1 in eight starts with a .926 save percentage. Annunen is 4-0-1 with a .950 save percentage since Feb. 22, and he’s gotten more regular work over the past month than he or Ivan Prosvetov was getting. That has helped manage starter Alexandar Georgiev’s workload as well.

Georgiev is under contract through next season. Annunen could play a lot more two seasons from now, which could make him a great bargain for the team. The tradeoff is the one-way contract, which means if the Avs send him back to the Eagles at any point during the deal, he’ll still make his NHL salary.

Annunen’s current contract pays him a daily pro-rated portion of $775,000 in the NHL and $225,000 when he’s in the AHL. He will still be a restricted free agent at the end of his new contract.

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