WINNIPEG – The timing of the today’s announcement that both Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck signed seven-year extensions with an annual average value of $8,500,000 on Thanksgiving seems perfect.

Winnipeg Jets fans are thankful that two big parts of the Jets core group will be around for the foreseeable future and so is Scheifele.

“I think it was really important, you know, to be a Jet for the next eight years, I think I'm going to be 39 when the deal is over. So, to call myself a Jet for life, it's an honour really. Because not many guys get the opportunity to actually do that and be on one team their entire career,” said Scheifele.

“Like Steve Yzerman was my idol growing up and he was a guy I always really looked up to and a guy that played his entire career with the same team (Detroit). It just doesn't happen a lot nowadays in the hockey world and in sports in general. So, I'll be able to do that and that was really important to me.”

Yzerman played 22 years with the Red Wings, appearing in over 1,500 games with the Winged Wheel on his chest. Scheifele is at 723 games in a Jets uniform since being drafted seventh overall, the first ever draft pick of Jets 2.0 back in June of 2011.

“I think really important to know that a new organization in the league picks you as their first pick and then essentially builds the team with you and around you it means a lot. Like I said, it's an honor, it's a privilege. It's something I don't take very lightly,” said Scheifele.

“It's a lot of extra motivation. It means a tremendous amount of faith from Chipper (Mark Chipman) from Chevy (Kevin Cheveldayoff) to everyone in the organization.”

Scheifele’s friendship with Cole Perfetti is well known and he said that another reason of signing this contract was a chance to remain teammates with the young centre.

“You know, even to tell him the news today and to see his face and hear him say ‘It's a good day because I know you're going to be around for a long time’ and hearing him say that means a lot. Just because the guy that I obviously really care about, love him like a brother and a guy that I want to see succeed so much, you know, it means a lot,” said Scheifele.

To just have those interactions and see his face and hear him say those things, that made my day.”

Like Scheifele, it looks like Hellebuyck could end his career as a Jet. Once the 30-year-old became aware of his teammates contract negotiations, he got even more pumped up.

“We try not to get into each other's business too much until it kind of was almost at a point where it was going to be done. Then we kind of figured it out and start talking about it and that, you know, that obviously makes it special to be signing the same deal as Connor. A perennial Vezina contender, one of the best goalies in the league and to do that with him and knowing that he's the backstop of this team for the rest for the next eight years is huge,” said Scheifele.

“It's a vote of confidence for me that I know that he's the backstop of this team because he is so good. He works so hard. He loves the game; he works on his craft and that I respect so much and having that connection with our contract being the same amount of time is huge for me.”

Hellebuyck is already the franchise leader in almost every single goaltending category including wins (238), saves (12465), shutouts (32) and save percentage (.916). Scheifele has a legit shot to move past Blake Wheeler as the all-time leader in games played, assists and points and Ilya Kovalchuk in the goals category. When it comes to being the Jets all-time leading scorer, Scheifele says it’s not the first thing on his mind.

“I think you just want to succeed, and you want the team to succeed and with that comes all that stuff. I think that's the biggest thing for me is, is when you do the right things and you work hard and you work on your game and you get better and you improve and when you do those things, you know the team's going to be playing well and then the team's playing well, that means you're going to have success and that's what it's all about,” said Scheifele.

“It's all about, you know, winning a Stanley Cup and that's the goal. That's why I signed here for seven years is to go and win a cup in Winnipeg. And, and, you know, that's why he (Hellebuyck) did it too. And when we believe in this group, we believe in the organization and we're excited to, to get it all started.”

Next up, the regular season with the Jets beginning their quest for Lord Stanley’s mug in Calgary on Wednesday.

“It's nice that it's finally here. I feel like preseason felt like forever and, and then, you know, dealing with some of this (contract) stuff takes its toll on you,” said Scheifele.

“So, I'm excited that it's all done and the seasons starting and now we get to go have fun.”