Connor Hellebuyck was drafted in the 5th round, 130 overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets. He is now 25 years old. Connor stands 6’4″tall and weighs around 207 pounds.Wears the catching glove on the left hand.
Who is this guy? Where the hell did he come from? Those were words I was saying to myself half way through the 2017-18 season. I couldn’t believe the season he was having. I remember hearing about him the previous season but didn’t pay much attention to him. Half way into January of 2018 Connor Hellebuyck had a win loss record of 23-6-6. His save percentage was .922 and he posted a 2.40 GAA. I saw those numbers and said to myself, I must be mistaken somehow, how could I have missed this guy? He must have been drafted in the first round and I just don’t remember.
Nope! He was drafted in the fifth round. Think about it this way. Approximately 12 percent of NHL draft picks, picked in the 3rd round and beyond make it to the NHL. That value would be about 9 percent of 5th round draft picks actually play in the league. Those odds are even lower for goaltenders. Goaltenders are like pitchers in baseball, they seem to grow on trees but not many make it.
So what exactly is the value of a fifth round pick? Rather than re-invent the wheel I will send you to a page that is well done. You can visit that page here.
So, back to Connor Hellebuyck. He finished the 2017-18 season the same way he started it. Connor finished with a win loss record of 44-11-9. Posted a solid save percentage of .924 and a GAA of 2.36.
The 44 wins were enough to set and pass Tom Barrasso for most wins in the NHL by an American born goaltender. Lets not forget one more important fact about Connor Hellebuyck. Last year was his first season as a number one goaltender. For a fifth round draft pick that is truly incredible.
The Winnipeg Jets were so impressed by Hellebuyck that the two sides agreed on a new contract extension. July 12, 2018 Hellebuyck signed a six year deal worth 37 million. The Cap hit will be $6.167 AAV.
Connor Hellebuyck Highlights