Connor Hellebuyck

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Connor Hellebuyck
Connor Hellebuyck Manitoba (cropped).jpg
Hellebuyck with the Manitoba Moose in 2016
Born (1993-05-19) May 19, 1993 (age 27)
Commerce, Michigan, U.S.
Height 6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight 207 lb (94 kg; 14 st 11 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team Winnipeg Jets
National team  United States
NHL Draft 130th overall, 2012
Winnipeg Jets
Playing career 2014–present
Medal record

Connor Charles Hellebuyck (/ˈhɛləbʌk/ HEL-ə-buk;[1] born May 19, 1993) is an American professional ice hockey goaltender for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected by the Jets in the fifth round, 130th overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Playing career[edit]

Amateur[edit]

After completing his high school career at Walled Lake Northern High School in Commerce Township, Michigan, Hellebuyck played one year of junior hockey as a member of the Odessa Jackalopes, a franchise that had been a minor league affiliate of the New York Islanders but had recently moved to junior hockey as part of the North American Hockey League (NAHL). Hellebuyck went from being virtually unknown to a top prospect while playing in Odessa, and was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets following his season in Odessa.

Hellebuyck earned a scholarship to play for the UMass Lowell River Hawks in the NCAA Men's Division I Hockey East Conference, where in two seasons he played 54 games and compiled a 38–12–2 record with a .946 save percentage, 1.60 goals against average and 12 shutouts. He won the Hockey East Championship and made a Frozen Four appearance in his freshman year. Lowell would repeat as Hockey East Champions the following year and Hellebuyck became the only player in Hockey East history to be named tournament MVP twice. Following his second year, Hellebuyck's outstanding play was rewarded with a selection to the 2013–14 Hockey East First Team.[2]

For the 2013–14 season, Hellebuyck was awarded the inaugural Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in college hockey.[3] Hellebuyck departed UMass Lowell as the school's shutout leader with 12 shutouts in 54 games, surpassing current Buffalo Sabres and former UMass Lowell goaltender Carter Hutton. He also owns single-season records for best save percentage (.952) and GAA (1.37), both in 2012–13.[4]

Professional[edit]

Hellebuyck chose to forgo his final two years of college eligibility when he signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL) on April 5, 2014.[4] In the 2014–15 season, he played his first full professional season with the Jets' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps and was selected to the 2015 AHL All-Star Game[5] serving as the Eastern Conference starter.[6] Hellebuyck was called up by the Jets late in the regular season to dress as the backup goaltender for one game.[7] On November 22, 2015, the Jets called up Hellebuyck after Ondřej Pavelec was injured during a game against the Arizona Coyotes.[8] On November 27, 2015, Hellebuyck won his first NHL game, against the Minnesota Wild. On December 27, Hellebuyck recorded his first NHL shutout in a 1–0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Hellebuyck made the 2016–17 Jets ahead of Ondřej Pavelec. During his first season as a starter, Hellebuyck posted a 26–19–4 record in 56 games.

On July 24, 2017, the Jets re-signed Hellebuyck to a one-year contract worth $2.25 million.[9]

In the 2017–18 season, Hellebuyck posted a 44–11–9 record in 67 games, setting the record for the most single-season wins by an American goaltender in the NHL, previously held by Tom Barrasso of the 1992 title-winning Pittsburgh Penguins,[10] as well as the record for most single-season home ice wins by an NHL goaltender, previously tied at 29 by Miikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov.[11] On April 17, 2018, Hellebuyck was named a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league's top goaltender.[12] He was the runner-up to Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.[13]

On July 12, 2018, Hellebuyck signed a six-year, $37 million (worth an average annual value of $6.167 million) contract extension with the Jets.[14]

In the 2019–20 season, Hellebuyck was second in the NHL in wins (31), first in shutouts (six), and seventh in save percentage (.922) among goalies who played at least 20 games. He was 31–21–5 with a 2.57 goals-against average and allowed two or fewer goals in 32 of his 58 games to help the Jets (37–28–6, .563 points percentage) advance to the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.[15] On July 17, 2020, Hellebuyck was named a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league's top goaltender along with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask and Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy.[16] On September 21st, 2020, before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, Hellebuyck was named the winner of the Vezina Trophy for the 2019–20 season, becoming the first goalie in Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history to win the award.[15]

On February 4, 2021, Hellebuyck won his 153rd NHL game as the Jets beat the Calgary Flames 4–1, breaking the Jets/Thrashers franchise record for wins by a goaltender, previously held by Ondřej Pavelec.[17]

International play[edit]

Hellebuyck (right) in goal for Team USA

Hellebuyck was chosen by the United States to play at the 2015 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships.[18] Hellebuyck would backstop Team USA to a Bronze Medal in the tourney.[19] Hellebuyck posted a record of 7–1–0 with a pair of shutouts during his eight tournament games. He would also finish with a 1.37 goals-against average and a .948 saving percentage. His seven wins tied a U.S. record for most in a single tournament set in 1939.[20] Hellebuyck had been named to the initial roster of Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.[21]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2011–12 Odessa Jackalopes NAHL 53 26 21 5 3085 128 3 2.49 .930 4 1 3 243 14 0 3.46
2012–13 UMass-Lowell HE 24 20 3 0 1397 32 6 1.37 .952
2013–14 UMass-Lowell HE 29 18 9 2 1747 52 6 1.79 .941
2014–15 St. John's IceCaps AHL 58 28 22 5 3332 143 6 2.58 .921
2015–16 Manitoba Moose AHL 30 13 15 1 1735 72 4 2.49 .922
2015–16 Winnipeg Jets NHL 26 13 11 0 1423 56 2 2.34 .918
2016–17 Winnipeg Jets NHL 56 26 19 4 3034 146 4 2.89 .907
2017–18 Winnipeg Jets NHL 67 44 11 9 3966 156 6 2.36 .924 17 9 8 1016 40 2 2.36 .922
2018–19 Winnipeg Jets NHL 63 34 23 3 3705 179 2 2.90 .913 6 2 4 360 16 0 2.67 .913
2019–20 Winnipeg Jets NHL 58 31 21 5 3269 140 6 2.57 .922 4 1 3 237 12 0 3.04 .904
NHL totals 270 148 85 22 15,406 677 20 2.64 .917 27 12 15 1,612 68 2 2.53 .917

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2015 United States WC 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) 8 7 1 0 482 11 2 1.37 .948
2017 United States WC 5th 2 2 0 0 120 5 0 2.50 .900
Senior totals 10 9 1 0 602 16 2 1.59 .930

Awards and honours[edit]

Award Year
College
Hockey East All-Tournament Team 2013 [22]
All-Hockey East First Team 2013–14 [23]
AHCA East First-Team All-American 2013–14
Hockey East All-Tournament Team 2014 [22]
Mike Richter Award 2013–14 [24]
NHL
NHL All-Star 2018, 2020
NHL Second All-Star Team 2018
Vezina Trophy 2020
NHL First All-Star Team 2020
First Star of the Week 2021
WC All-Star Team 2015 [25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Connor Hellebuyck wins three, including his ninth career shutout".
  2. ^ "UMass Lowell – Connor Hellebuyck named First-Team Hockey East All-Star". University of Massachusetts Lowell.
  3. ^ "UMass-Lowell's Connor Hellebuyck wins inaugural Mike Richter Award – NHL.com – On Campus". nhl.com. Retrieved June 28, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b Soderberg, Justin (April 5, 2014). "Connor Hellebuyck jets from UMass Lowell early".
  5. ^ "Connor Hellebuyck named a 2015 AHL Eastern Conference All-Star". Mill City Sports. Archived from the original on January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Connor Hellebuyck starts for Eastern Conference in AHL All-Star Game". Mill City Sports. Retrieved January 29, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Jets call up goalie Hellebuyck from St. John's". Winnipeg Free Press. April 10, 2015. (April).
  8. ^ "Jets call up Hellebuyck after Pavelec injured by Doan hit". www.winnipegfreepress.com. Retrieved November 22, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Jets sign Connor Hellebuyck". NHL.com. July 24, 2017. Retrieved April 25, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Schlager, Brandon (April 7, 2018). "Jets' Connor Hellebuyck sets NHL single-season wins record for American goalies". sportingnews.com. Retrieved April 14, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Player Game Finder". hockey-reference.com. Retrieved April 25, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Vezina Trophy finalists unveiled". NHL.com. April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "2017-18 NHL Awards Voting". Hockey-Reference.com. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  14. ^ The Canadian Press (July 12, 2018). "Winnipeg Jets sign goalie Connor Hellebuyck to six-year contract after breakout season". The Star.
  15. ^ a b "Hellebuyck of Jets wins Vezina Trophy as best goalie in NHL". NHL.com. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  16. ^ "Vezina Trophy winner to be announced before Game 2 of Stanley Cup Final". NHL.com. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  17. ^ Clinton, Mitchell (February 4, 2021). "Hellebuyck sets franchise win record in Jets victory over Flames". Retrieved February 5, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ "Connor Hellebuyck selected to U.S. National team for Worlds". millcitysports.com. April 2, 2015. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved April 2, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ "USA wins bronze with shutout win over Czech Republic at World Championship". The Score. May 17, 2015. Retrieved July 3, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ "Connor Hellebuyck, U.S. take home bronze at IIHF World Championships". Mill City Sports. Retrieved May 18, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "Connor Hellebuyck named to Team North America World Cup roster". Mill City Sports. Retrieved March 2, 2016. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ a b "2013–14 Hockey East Media Guide". Hockey East. Retrieved May 19, 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ "HockeyEastOnline.com – LEAGUE ANNOUNCES ALL-STAR TEAMS".
  24. ^ "UMass-Lowell's Hellebuyck wins Mike Richter Award". nhl.com. April 11, 2014.
  25. ^ https://reports.iihf.hockey/Hydra/414/IHM414000_98_1_0.pdf[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Johnny Gaudreau
Hockey East Tournament MVP
2013, 2014
Succeeded by
Jack Eichel
Preceded by
Parker Milner
Hockey East Goaltending Champion
2012–13
Succeeded by
Thatcher Demko
Preceded by
Award created
Mike Richter Award
2013–14
Succeeded by
Zane McIntyre
Preceded by
Andrei Vasilevskiy
Winner of the Vezina Trophy
2020
Succeeded by
Incumbent