Nashville, Tenn. (August 16, 2021) - Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a four-year, $20 million contract.
"Juuse has proven himself as one of the best young goaltenders in the NHL, and we are very pleased to have him remain our No. 1 goaltender for years to come," Poile said. "While being mentored by Pekka Rinne, he has spent the last several seasons growing and taking steps physically and mentally to become a top goalie in this League, as evident by his spot on the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 to finishing near the top of Vezina Trophy voting this past season. Juuse gives our team a chance to win in every game he plays, and we feel confident that with him leading the tandem we've established with David Rittich, our goaltenders will be a large part of our success in 2021-22."
Saros, 26 (4/19/95), posted the best statistical season of his five-year NHL career in 2020-21, going 21-11-1 in 36 games. Saros established career highs in several categories, including wins (21), starts (35), goals-against average (2.28) and save percentage (.927), totals that helped him finish sixth in Vezina Trophy and 11th in Hart Trophy voting. Among NHL goaltenders who played in least 25 games, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Saros finished in the Top 10 in save percentage (third) and goals-against average (fifth), as well as wins and shutouts (tied for sixth). Saros' play in the second half of Nashville's season helped propel the team to its seventh straight postseason berth; in his last 26 games of the campaign, dating back to Feb. 27, he went 18-6-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and three shutouts while allowing two-or-fewer goals in 20 of those starts. Saros, who was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week for the week ending March 28, also won nine of 10 starts from March 23-April 13 and posted career highs in saves (49) and shots faced (55) on April 27 vs. Florida.
In the postseason, Saros started all six of Nashville's games and recorded a 2.78 goals-against average and .921 save percentage. He made at least 30 saves in four of his six contests, and his postseason was headlined by a two-game stretch (Games 3-4) in which he stopped a combined 110 of 117 shots faced in consecutive double OT victories; it was the seventh-most combined saves in a two-game span by an NHL goaltender (regular season or playoffs) since 1955-56. Saros' 58 saves in Game 4 stands as the franchise record for the most in a regular season or playoff game.
Originally drafted by the Predators in the fourth round (99th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Saros owns a career record of 76-47-17 in 139 starts and has won at least 17 games in each of his last three seasons. Saros has also tallied 14 career shutouts, the most among active NHL goalies his age or younger. Saros was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 after leading all first-year goaltenders in goals-against average (2.45), save percentage (.925) and shutouts (3) and followed that up with a .915 save percentage and three shutouts in his sophomore campaign in 2018-19. Internationally, the Forssa, Finland, native has represented his country at five major tournaments, winning gold at the 2014 World Junior Championship; earning silver at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2014 and 2016 World Championships; and taking home bronze in the 2013 U-18 World Championship. Before becoming a full-time NHL goaltender, Saros went 45-15-1 in 62 games for the AHL's Milwaukee Admirals and earned a spot on the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic roster.