25-Year-Old Goalie – Winnipeg Jets
Connor Hellebuyck Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract with the Jets in July of 2017.
Hellebuyck is expected to earn a long-term contract from the Jets, Sportsnet reports.
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Connor Hellebuyck: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Hellebuyck got an opportunity in his rookie season with the Jets, notching a 13-11-1 record with a .918 save percentage, 2.34 GAA and two shutouts. Not bad numbers for a first-year netminder, but the AHL will still be a part of his routine for the foreseeable future with Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson still on the roster. The 23-year-old could, however, become the long-term goalie in Winnipeg, especially with more experience under his belt. Unless the Jets make some preseason moves, Hellebuyck will start the year third in the pecking order, but he could step into the limelight sooner rather than later.
Hellebuyck performed admirably for AHL St. Johnís last season, posting a 28-22-5 record with a 2.58 GAA and a .921 save percentage over 58 games in his first professional campaign. His numbers probably would have been even better if he hadnít been suiting up for one of the poorer defensive teams in the AHL. The former UMass-Lowell goaltender took home the Mike Richter award as the best netminder in NCAA hockey as a sophomore in 2014, and he's regarded as one of the top goalie prospects in all of hockey. However, he currently sits behind Ondrej Pavelec and Michael Hutchinson on the Jetsí depth chart, so he'll likely spend most of the 2015-16 season in the AHL unless one of those top two guys struggles mightily or gets hurt. However, heís only 22 years old and has plenty of time to develop into a true starting NHL goaltender over the next few years. With Hutchinsonís deal set to expire after the upcoming season, Hellebuyck is one for fantasy owners to keep an eye on, as he's expected to start knocking on the door this year.
Hellebuyck, 21, has been honing his craft at the college level with UMass-Lowell the past two seasons, producing back-to-back campaigns with a sub-2.00 GAA and a total of 12 shutouts during that time. The winner of the inaugural Mike Richter Award given to the nationís top collegiate goaltender, Hellebuyck has evolved from a fringy prospect drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft to the likely No. 3 goalie on the Jetsí organizational depth chart. The simultaneous rise of fellow goalie prospect Michael Hutchinson might be a potential roadblock to No. 1 duties in the long-term, but with a strong debut season at AHL St. Johnís, it wouldnít be out of the question for Hellebuyck to ascend to the top of the heap by 2015-16.