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Connor Hellebuyck: Winningest American Goalie in NHL History

He was thought of as the back up and then he played over 60 games.

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Connor Hellebuyck was supposed to be the back-up and maybe split the net 50-50 with Steve Mason in a platoon system. He was not supposed to be the starting goalie. He was not supposed to play in 66 games, starting 63. He was not supposed to win 44 of those games and yet here we stand.

Hellebuyck has spent most of this season without a legitimate back up due to injuries. He has had to play in so many games because he was the only option for the Jets. There were games that they won because of Hellebuyck; early in the season when they were getting their feet under them and later when injuries hit them so hard it was hard to remember who would return when.

Connor Hellebuyck deserves the praise he is getting for this season. While I have not had the chance to look in depth at the Vezina contenders, Hellebuyck is surely one of the candidates as he should be. He is not as talked about as the others, but he should be there simply because his numbers are great and he has played in a majority of the Jets games this year.