Connor Hellebuyck Is One HELLEva Goaltender And A Vezina Trophy Winner

Connor Hellebuyck named Vezina Trophy winner –

After being a Vezina Trophy runner-up in 2017-18 there was no denying Connor Hellebuyck this season as he was named the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy winner on Monday.  The Vezina Trophy is awarded to the NHL goaltender judged to be the best at his position and Helle is a very deserving winner.

The 27-year-old Hellebuyck led all goaltenders with six shutouts which is quite amazing considering the Winnipeg Jets aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut.  Helle led all goaltenders this past season in games with 58 (tied), shots faced at 1,796, and saves at 1,656 for a solid .922 sv%.  He also ranked second overall in starts with 56 and recorded 31 of the Jets 37 wins.  Helle was the only reason the Winnipeg Jets made it to the play-in round. 

Connor Hellebuyck is arguably the Winnipeg Jets’ biggest draft win.  Helle was drafted in 2012 in the 5th round, 130th overall, and he is putting together a pretty impressive resume for a 5th rounder.  Helle was a Second Team All-Star in 2018, a Vezina Trophy Finalist in 2017-18, a First Team All-Star in 2020, and he can now add Vezina Trophy winner to his resume.  It just goes to show that you never know what round you will find that gem at the NHL Entry Draft and how important each and every pick is BUT that is another conversation for another time.

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With the departures of Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, Ben Chiarot, and Dustin Byfuglien from the Winnipeg Jets blueline there was extra pressure on the Winnipeg Jets goaltender and he did more than his part in keeping his hockey team in the hunt every night.  In my opinion, he probably bought Paul Maurice and Kevin Cheveldayoff a year of grace with his performance this season as I believe both were/are on the hot seat. 

With Connor Hellebuyck entering his prime it is time for this team’s management to get their act together and augment this roster with some NHL players and not waste Helle’s best years.  The Winnipeg Jets definitely have a keeper (no pun intended) and the goal crease should be the least of their worries for quite a few years. 

Congrats Connor.

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