The National Hockey League announced on Friday that the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy were Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebyuck, Boston’s Tuukka Rask and Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Connor Hellebyuck – Winnipeg
Hellebyuck was one of the main reasons the Winnipeg Jets even had a chance at the postseason after the team overhauled the defence the year prior, losing Tyler Myers and Ben Chiarot to free agency, trading Jacob Trouba to New York and being without their captain, Dustin Byfuglien, for the entire season, later terminating his contract.
Hellebyuck finished the regular season with a 31-21-5 record which ranked him second in wins and boasted a 2.57 goals against average and a .922 save percentage which ranked him 14th and seventh respectively.
He had finished second in Vezina voting in 2017-2018 with 82, seven of those being first place votes.
Tuukka Rask – Boston
Rask is coming off back-to-back 25+ win seasons and had better numbers in 2019-2020 than the year prior. Even though he shared the net with Jaroslav Halak, he proved to be a dominant goaltender when he started for the powerhouse Boston Bruins.
He ended the year with a 26-8-6 record, which ranked him seventh in wins, a 2.12 goals against average and .930 save percentage which ranked him first and second respectively
He finished seventh in 2018-2019 and won the award in 2013-2014 when he received 103 total votes, 16 being first place.
Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay
Andrei solidified the back end for a towering lightning team that finished fourth overall with a total of 92 points in a shortened season. Vasilevskiy was a major contributor to the team’s overall success.
He finished the year with a imposing 35-14-3 record, lead the league in wins, a 2.56 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. Both ranked 12th and 16th respectively.
Vasilevskiy took home the award last year, finishing with 146 total votes, 28 of those for first place.
Who Takes Home The Award?
All three netminders deserve this nomination, and for the most part, were the pillars of their team’s overall success. They were the backbone and moral of their rosters and without them their clubs would not be as good as they are with them defending their respective creases.
But in the end, I believe Connor Hellebyuck is the most deserving as he was one of, if not, his team’s MVP and made up for a lot of mistakes his defence made. As I mentioned earlier, most of the regulars were no longer on the team. He is, to me, the reason why the Winnipeg Jets have a shot every night.