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Possible Vezina Trophy Candidates

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

The Vezina Trophy award goes out to the goalie who has the best regular season. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne won the award last season. Other than him, who else could win the award this season?

The first player that comes to mind is Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck. He is the most important player on the Jets roster. Hellebuyck is the backbone of this team. He made a major improvement last season and it was one of the reasons why the Jets reached the conference finals. Connor Hellebuyck is ready for another great season and he is already one of the best goalies in the league. Hellebuyck was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season. His record was 47-11-9 with a .924 save percentage and a 2.36 GAA, along with six shutouts.

The second player that comes to mind is Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. He is one of the most athletic goalies in the league and Vasilevskiy was one of the finalists for the Vezina Trophy last season as well. He is one of the few goalies in the league that has the capability to take over a game with his speed and size. Andrei Vasilevskiy's record last season was 44-17-3 with a .920 save percentage and a 2.62 GAA, along with eight shutouts.

The third player that comes to mind is Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray. He was one of the main reasons why the Pittsburgh Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017. Murray is one of the best young goalies in the game. He has a calm demeanor. Matt Murray isn't the most athletic goalie in the world, but he makes timely saves. Murray sometimes struggles to stay his healthy. His record last season was 27-16-3 with a .907 save percentage and a 2.92 GAA, along with one shutout.

The fourth player that comes to mind is Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury had one of the best statistical years of his NHL career last season. He took a Golden Knights team to the finals without a true super star. Marc-Andre Fleury was not the reason why Vegas lost last June. They were just over matched. Fleury could play well once again this season and get them back to the playoffs. He is athletic. Marc-Andre Fleury was sidelined for part of the season last season because of a concussion. He signed a three-year contract extension in the offseason. His record was 29-13-4 with a .927 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA, along with four shutouts.

The fifth player that comes to mind is Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals. The Capitals will need to rely on him a lot this season. Phoenix Copley will be the backup this season and it won't be Philipp Grubauer because he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche in the offseason. Holtby struggled at times last season and because of it, he didn't start the first two games of the postseason. They fell into a 0-2 hole in the first-round against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Braden Holtby then started for the rest of the postseason and the Washington Capitals eventually won the Stanley Cup. His record last season was 34-16-4 with a .907 save percentage and a 2.99 GAA.

The sixth player that comes to mind is Martin Jones of the San Jose Sharks. Not a lot of people understand how good of a goalie Jones is. He is always steady and makes more good plays than bad. Martin Jones is one of the reasons they are one of the favorites to win it all this season. His record last season was 30-22-6 with a .915 save percentage and a 2.55 GAA, along with four shutouts.

This article was originally published on @gk18