(via NHL Communications) - Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets, Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning are the three finalists for the 2019-20 Vezina Trophy, awarded “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position,” the National Hockey League announced today.
NHL general managers submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy after the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.
Following are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Hellebuyck (31-21-5, 2.57 GAA, .922 SV%) backstopped the Jets to a place in the Western Conference Stanley Cup Qualifiers as the No. 9-ranked team, leading all goaltenders in games (t-58), shots faced (1,796), saves (1,656) and shutouts (six). He ranked second overall in starts (56), wins (31) and minutes (3,268:33). The 27-year-old Commerce, Mich., native recorded 31 of the 37 Jets wins (83.8%), the second-highest percentage among goaltenders on the 24 teams set to resume play. Hellebuyck faced 37-or-more shots on 13 occasions and posted a 10-1-2 record, 2.08 GAA and .949 SV% in those contests, including a career-high 51 saves in a 3-2 win at San Jose Nov. 1 in which the Jets were outshot 53-19. Hellebuyck is a Vezina Trophy finalist for the second time in three seasons (2nd in 2017-18) and is seeking to become the first goaltender in Jets/Thrashers history to capture the award.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask (26-8-6, 2.12 GAA, .929 SV%) helped the Bruins win the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top-ranked club during the regular season and teamed with Jaroslav Halakto win the William Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team allowing the fewest regular-season goals. Rask led the NHL in goals-against average, ranked second in save percentage and shared second place in shutouts (five). He became the third goaltender in NHL history to post a 20-game home point streak to start the season (14-0-6) and recorded his eighth 20-win campaign, joining Bruins legends Tiny Thompson, Frank Brimsek and Gerry Cheevers. The Savonlinna, Finland, native reached the 50-shutout career milestone on March 10, his 33rd birthday, stopping 36 shots in a 2-0 win over Philadelphia. Rask, who captured the Vezina Trophy in 2013-14, is vying for his second win in as many appearances as a finalist.
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Highlighted by a 21-game point streak (19-0-2) over a two-month period, Vasilevskiy posted an NHL-best 35 wins (35-14-3, 2.56 GAA, .917 SV%), marking the third consecutive season he has led or tied for the League lead in the category. He won 21 of his last 27 starts (21-5-1) from Dec. 23 through the pause in play on March 11, helping the Lightning jump from the ninth-best points percentage in the Eastern Conference (.559, 17-13-4) to second-best (.657, 43-21-6). That run included a personal 10-game winning streak at AMALIE Arena from Dec. 23 – Feb. 15 (1.89 GAA, .937 SV%), becoming the first goaltender in franchise history to post a double-digit home win streak. Overall, Vasilevskiy ranked third in starts (t-52), minutes (3,121:54), shots faced (1,605) and saves (1,472).The Tyumen, Russia, native, who celebrates his 26th birthday on July 25, is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and a finalist for the third consecutive season (3rd in 2017-18).
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