Connor Hellebuyck

Connor Hellebuyck

28-Year-Old GoalieG
Winnipeg Jets
2021 Fantasy Outlook
For the third time in four seasons, Hellebuyck led all goalies in games played (45), saves made (1,223) and shots faced (1,335) during the 2020-21 campaign. He stayed true to his brand as the league's most consistent and durable goaltender; since the start of the 2016-17 season, the 6-foot-4 Michigan native has appeared in 289 regular-season games, 18 more than any other goalie. Hellebuyck recorded a solid .916 save percentage and 2.58 GAA last season, right in line with his career .917 save percentage and 2.63 GAA. He also turned in a strong .931 save percentage and 2.23 GAA in eight postseason contests. The 28-year-old should once again reward fantasy managers that draft him as a "set it and forget it" No. 1 goaltender. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year, $37 million contract with the Jets in July of 2018.
Comes up short Saturday
GWinnipeg Jets
October 16, 2021
Hellebuyck gave up four goals on 31 shots in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Sharks.
ANALYSIS
The Jets staked out a 2-0 lead early in the second period, but Hellebuyck allowed the Sharks to net a shorthanded goal and two power-play tallies to gain the lead. Rudolfs Balcers also scored at even strength, and that was enough to leave Hellebuyck with a second straight loss. The Jets' penalty kill has not been great to begin the season, as they've allowed four goals across two games in that situation. The 28-year-old goalie will have to make some improvements in his own game. The Jets' road trip ends Tuesday against the Wild, and it's likely Hellebuyck will get another starting nod.
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    57:50
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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If there's one goalie that could push for the 65-game threshold this year, assuming the NHL plays a full season, it would certainly be Hellebuyck. The workhorse is coming off a Vezina Trophy winning campaign in which he posted a 31-21-5 record with six shutouts and a .922 save percentage, a performance which was good enough to edge out Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy for the NHL's top-goaltending award. It was the third straight season in which the towering backstop reached the 30-win mark, and there's little reason to think he won't be able to repeat that feat again in 2020-21. Barring a dramatic drop off, it wouldn't be a shock to see Hellebuyck's name among the Vezina finalists once again next year. Especially if he leads the league in games played -- a distinct possibility -- which would make him one of the top-two netminders on preseason draft boards.
After putting up a 44-win season in 2017-18, many believed Hellebuyck had finally turned the corner to become a top NHL netminder. While last year wasn't terrible for the youngster, he certainly regressed, as he registered a 34-23-3 record with just two shutouts and a career-worst 2.90 GAA. Given the club's star-studded offense, it doesn't need the positionally-sound netminder to be a perennial Vezina Trophy candidate, but certainly it will be looking for more out of him heading into the upcoming season. It's certainly possible for Hellebuyck to get back to being a 35-win goaltender and to drop his GAA below 2.50, which would make him a top-end fantasy option.
Heading into last season, Hellebuyck was facing a “prove it” year with the possibility of being bounced from the starting job by Steve Mason. Well after racking up 44 wins in 67 games along with a 2.36 GAA and career-high .924 save percentage, the hulking netminder landed a six-year, $37 million contract (sixth highest AAV among goalies) and was nominated for the Vezina Trophy. The next challenge for the youngster is whether he can continue to perform at such an elite level. Being backed by on offense that was second in the league in scoring last year (3.33 goals per game) will certainly help the Michigan native continue racking up wins. Another season like 2017-18 and it won't be long before Hellebuyck's name is consistently listed alongside those of Pekka Rinne, Braden Holtby and Tuukka Rask.
The 2016-17 campaign was intended to be Hellebuyck’s first full season patrolling the crease, but he posted a 2.99 GAA and .906 save percentage through 29 games after the All-Star break, ultimately relinquishing minutes to Ondrej Pavelec (and later, Michael Hutchinson) in a failed bid for a playoff spot. However, since the goalie change went awry by virtue of Pavelec sustaining a litany of injuries and then moving to the Big Apple in the offseason, Hellebuyck once again enters the year as the presumptive No. 1 backstop in Winnipeg. he'll thus be in fine position to improve on his 26-19-4 record -- including four shutouts -- from 2016-17, as the Jets are a team on the rise. Should the 24-year-old’s case of the hiccups persist, veteran newcomer Steve Mason is waiting in the wings as a contingency plan for coach Paul Maurice. While he can be maddeningly inconsistent, Hellebuyck should be motivated to rebound in a contract year, making him a sneaky (and likely rather inexpensive) fantasy option.
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. John’s 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 hadn’t 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 Jets’ 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, he’s only 22 years old and has plenty of time to develop into a true starting NHL goaltender over the next few years. With Hutchinson’s 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 nation’s 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 Jets’ 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. John’s, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Hellebuyck to ascend to the top of the heap by 2015-16.
More Fantasy News
Starting in San Jose
GWinnipeg Jets
October 16, 2021
Hellebuyck will patrol the road crease during Saturday's matchup with the Sharks, Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
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Sunk by special teams
GWinnipeg Jets
October 13, 2021
Hellebuyck gave up four goals on 22 shots in Wednesday's 4-1 loss to the Ducks.
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Starting season opener
GWinnipeg Jets
October 13, 2021
Hellebuyck will protect the road goal Wednesday versus the Ducks, Ducks PA Announcer Phil Hulett reports.
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Tending twine Friday
GWinnipeg Jets
October 8, 2021
Hellebuyck will get the starting nod in Friday's preseason tilt with the Flames, Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun reports.
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Guarding cage versus Flames
GWinnipeg Jets
October 6, 2021
Hellebuyck will patrol the crease against Calgary at home Wednesday, Ken Wiebe of Sportsnet reports.
ANALYSIS
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