It’s official. Connor Hellebuyck is the National Hockey League’s very best netminder from the 2019-20 hockey season. On Monday evening, the NHL Awards were held online, to which each of the major individual award recipients were announced and notified of their accomplishment.
Hellebuyck, 27, took home the Vezina Trophy as the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position. Named a finalist back in mid July, the Jets’ fifth-year backstop beat out Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy for the highly coveted honour – as voted upon by each of the 31 league general managers.
Hellebuyck received 19 of a possible 30 first-place votes, while collecting a total of 123 votes overall. He finished above Rask (99 points and 10 first-place votes) and Vasilevskiy (31 points and one first-place vote). The voting was weighted on a 5-3-1 points scale, with five points given for a first-place vote, and so on.
Selected by the Jets 130th overall in 2012, the Commerce, Michigan product joined the team in 2015-16, just one year after leading the charge with the then St. John’s IceCaps. He has served as Winnipeg’s starting netminder each of the past four seasons, earning two nods as a Vezina finalist, and taking home the trophy his second time around.
Going 31-21-5, Hellebuyck put up a 2.57 goals against average, a .922 save percentage, and a league-best six shutouts. He allowed two or fewer goals in 32 of his 58 games last season. Hellebuyck was first amongst all goaltenders in shots faced (1,796), saves (1,656) and games played (tied with Carey Price).
As well as the Vezina Trophy, Hellebuyck was also announced as a first-team all-star for the 2019-20 season. Although Leon Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP as voted upon by the players, Hellebuyck also finished sixth overall in the voting with 283 total points, including three first-place choices.