Connor Hellebuyck Looks To be One Of The Best NHL Goaltenders Of All Time

Graham Montgomery
January 3, 2024  (6:16 PM)

Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Connor Hellebuyck has been regarded as one of the best goaltenders in the NHL for quite some time now. However, the advanced stats show that he may be even better than we once thought.

Hellebuyck Enters Top-Five All Time In Key Goalie Statistic

The hockey analytics community has developed a number of advanced stats that help us to better understand the game we love in recent years. One statistic, GAR or goals above replacement, is a measure that essentially indicates how valuable a player is to a team in terms of goals. It is similar to baseball's wins above replacement statistic, but it replaces wins with goals. It is also used for goalies even though they are not typically the ones scoring goals. Rather in their case, it is effectively goals saved above expected by a replacement level goaltender. This year, Hellebuyck entered the top-five on this list, although we only have data that goes back to 2007 so the greatest goaltenders before that are not on the list.
I think we're approaching a point where Connor Hellebuyck has to be in the conversation among the greatest goalies of all time. His GAR is 5th since 2007, and there's a good chance he'll be in 2nd by sometime next year. Could even be this year with a great back half.
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Looking at just this season, Hellebuyck has once again been in peak form. If we look at just 5 on 5 statistics, the majority of the ice time played in the NHL, Hellebuyck leads all goalies in goals saved above expected by a large margin. So large even, that he is effectively in a class of his own.
5 on 5, Hellebuyck is by far the best goalie in the nhl. Being 65% better than the next best goalie is insane. #gojetsgo

This is just more evidence that Hellebuyck is on a whole new level when it comes to NHL goaltending. He has always been talked about in conversations with guys like Igor Shesterkin and Andre Vasilevskiy, but usually those two are considered to be better than him. Now perhaps it is time to give Hellebuyck the full credit he deserves as it seems as though he is at least as good as those goaltenders, if not better.
Connor Hellebuyck Looks To be One Of The Best NHL Goaltenders Of All Time

Is Connor Hellebuyck a top-ten goaltender in NHL history?

Yes17561.6 %
No10938.4 %
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