The Blue Jackets continue to trust Elvis Merzlikins and extend with the Goaltender until 2021-22.
The 26-year-old Merzlikins has an average of 2,35 goals conceded in 33 games, a catch rate of 92.3% and five shutouts. And, in this season Elvis leading the statistics of all rookie-netminders in each of these categories.
“We have believed for several years that Elvis Merzlikins was the best goalkeeper outside of the NHL when he played in Switzerland and this year he has shown that he has the ability and drive to be a very good goalkeeper in this league be,” said GM Jarmo Kekäläinen. “He is fast, athletic and motivated to be successful. We are excited to see what the future will bring for Elvis and our hockey club.”
The Latvians, who were born in Riga, became aware of the NHL scouts in Switzerland when he played for the youth teams from U17 to U20 at Lugano. Elvis played his first game in the Lugano senior team in the 2013-14 season, totaling 22 games. This year he was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 3rd round on pos. # 76. Merzlikins played five more years in Lugano before playing his first NHL game in 2019-20. Elvis seized this opportunity and the blue jackets agreed on the goalkeeper’s performance to remain for another two years.
Elvis Merzlikins has been in the squad for the Latvian national team every year since 2011. Starting in the U17, over the U18 and U20, he made his debut in the senior national team in 2014. In total, Elvis participated in five junior world championships with the juniors. With the senior national teams, he was in the squad at four world championships and one Olympic qualification tournament.