On Tuesday, the NHL revealed its three finalists for the 2017-18 Vezina Trophy. Among the selected bunch was Winnipeg Jets' netminder Connor Hellebuyck.

Although going up against some strong competition, the 24-year-old American has a real shot at landing goaltending's most coveted individual prize.

When selecting a Vezina Trophy winner, candidates are thoroughly examined, taking team production/accomplishments, individual accomplishments, age, personal success, past seasons and teammate support into account.

The Vezina Trophy is one of only two awards in which the league's 31 General Managers cast ballots as a way to select the three finalists, annually. Most other award recipients are chosen by the Professional Hockey Writers Association from each geographical chapter.

The four main statistical categories in question when ranking a backstop for the Vezina Trophy are wins, shutouts, goals against average and save percentage.

Of course other stats such as games started and finished, shots faced, saves made, regulation victories, time shorthanded, and the netminder's overall supporting cast play a role in the decision, but in the end it simply comes down to winning games and stopping pucks.

Since the NHL's transition to resolving games by way of a five-minute period of sudden death overtime and a three-round shootout, if the overtime period does not result in a victor, some of these aforementioned statistics may appear inflated, and others punitive.

But for those armchair general managers sitting in the basement comparing numbers in NHL record books from 1968 to 2018, you are kindly asked to compare something of greater relevance... say gas prices from 1968 to 2018 - and don't forget to convert your 1968 imperial gallons to 2018 metric litres.

In using the four main 'judgment' categories, each goaltender will be examined below, and compared to one another.

Connor Hellebuyck: 44-11-15, 2.36 goals against average, .924 save percentage, six shutouts.

Hellebuyck set a new all-time NHL wins record (44) for all American-born NHL goaltenders, and tied the NHL record of 30 home victories in a single season. He helped the Jets not only eclipse the 100-point mark, but blow it out of the water, collecting 114 points on the year - good for second place in the league.

Andrei Vasilevskiy: 44-17-11, 2.62 goals against average, .920 save percentage, eight shutouts.

Vasilevskiy set a Tampa Bay franchise record, passing Nikolai Khabibulin for the most shutouts (eight) in a single season in Lightning history. He came out of the gate flying, even recording seven shutouts before February rolled around.

Pekka Rinne: 42-13-12, 2.31 goals against average, .927 save percentage, eight shutouts.

Rinne did not set any records this past season, but performed exceptionally well for a team destined to go far in the playoffs. His numbers in the second half of the season were unparalleled. As many expect, the Predators and Jets very well may meet in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in the ultimate battle - a potential showdown between Vezina Trophy recipient and runner up.

Rinne only started 59 games, compared to Hellebuyck's 67 and Vasilevskiy's 65. Thus, Rinne was only forced to make 1706 saves on the season, again compared to Hellebuyck's 1892 and Vasilevskiy's 1908 - nearly 200 less stops. Hellebuyck led the league in minutes played with 3,966.

Looking at the netminders' play while shorthanded, Connor Hellebuyck once again comes out on top regarding the least amount of power play goals allowed, with 38. Rinne is next with 40, while Vasilevskiy allowed 44 power play goals.

Oddly enough the order is flipped when it comes to short handed goals allowed, with Vasilevskiy only allowing two goals against on the season while down at least one man. Rinne allowed three short handed markers, while Hellebuyck let four such goals past him.

Although the youth typically dominate the Hart and Art Ross Trophy races, something has to be said of Rinne's ability to perform at arguably the highest level of his career at the age of 35. Both Vasilevskiy, 23, and Hellebuyck, 24, should expect to be in the running for the Vezina in future years. But with Rinne a lot closer to his farewell tour than the latter two, one may suggest Rinne picks up the prize.

His save percentage and goals against average were tops in the league, and he was tied with Vasilevskiy for first with eight shutouts. Rinne had two fewer wins than Hellebuyck and Vasilevskiy, but then again, he started significantly fewer contests than his competition.

Sure, there are other goaltenders who performed fabulously for their respective teams - Names such as Marc-Andre Fleury, Frederik Andersen, Carter Hutton, John Gibson and Jonathan Quick may come to mind. They certainly did play well on most nights, but they did not stand a head and shoulders above their competition, like these three gentlemen did.

Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick was earlier awarded the William Jennings Trophy, as the main goaltender on a team that records the league's lowest goals against average.

Quick's .947 save percentage in four 2017-18 playoff games was an incredible benchmark. However, his Kings' teammates just could not light the lamp, and were swept by Winnipeg's Ryan Reaves, Cody Eakin and the Vegas Golden Knights.

Although posting great numbers in the postseason, Quick played nowhere near the level that Connor Hellebuyck, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Pekka Rinne consistently did throughout the regular season. And the regular season is what matters in Vezina voting. Playoff success is irrelevant.

Vasilevskiy set a Tampa Bay franchise record, passing Nikolai Khabibulin for the most shutouts (eight) in a single season in Lightning history. He came out of the gate flying, even recording seven shutouts before February rolled around.

Hellebuyck set a new all-time NHL wins record (44) for all American-born NHL goaltenders, and tied the NHL record of 30 home victories in a single season. He helped the Jets not only eclipse the 100-point mark, but blow it out of the water, collecting 114 points on the year - good for second place in the league.

Rinne did not set any records this past season, but performed exceptionally well for a team destined to go far in the playoffs. His numbers in the second half of the season were unparalleled. As many expect, the Predators and Jets very well may meet in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, in the ultimate battle - one potentially deciding the Vezina Trophy recipient.

By Carter Brooks

Photo by Jonathan Kozub

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