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Report: Jets to Protect Connor Hellebuyck in Expansion Draft

According to a report from TSN, the Jets have made their decision on which goalie they will protect in June’s expansion draft.

It’s no surprise to Jets fans that the team will be looking for a new goaltender during the offseason, but it looks like that search will be postponed until after the expansion draft is over. The TSN column references a Winnipeg Sun article by Ken Wiebe which states that Connor Hellebuyck will get the protection nod despite having mixed results in net this past season.

Hellebuyck finished the season with a 26-19-4 record, a .907 save% and a 2.89 GAA to go along with four shutouts. While the results leave something to be desired the Jets are unwilling to risk losing the 24-year old former fifth-round pick to Vegas next month.

Since Winnipeg can only protect one goalie from being snagged in the expansion draft, it is highly unlikely that they will acquire another goaltender until after the dust has settled from next month’s expansion and entry drafts. Perhaps, they will look at free agent goaltenders like Brian Elliot or make a trade for an up and comer like Antti Raanta.

Protecting Hellebuyck will leave RFA goaltender, Michael Hutchinson exposed in the expansion draft and a possible depth option for the Golden Knights. It’s also worth noting that the Golden Knights could choose to select pending UFA Ondrej Pavelec if they wanted, though that move seems extremely unlikely.

HELLEBUYCK’S CAREER SO FAR

Season Team Lge GP A PIM Min GA EN SO GAA W L T Svs Pct PGP A PIM
2014-15 St. John’s IceCaps AHL 58 1 0 3332 143 10 6 2.58 28 22 5 1666 0.921
2015-16 Manitoba Moose AHL 30 0 0 1735 72 7 4 2.49 13 15 1 850 0.922
2015-16 Winnipeg Jets NHL 26 0 0 1423 56 5 2 2.34 13 11 1 627 0.918
2016-17 Winnipeg Jets NHL 56 0 0 3047 146 0 4 2.89 26 19 4 1426 0.907
NHL Totals   82 0 0       6 2.71 39 30 5   0.910
  • JetsFan58

    Did a 15 year old write this? This isn’t news, and Pavelec CAN’T be picked in the draft as a UFA. Maybe try getting a writer that knows something. Your articles are just good for a laugh

    • Arctic_Attorney

      UFAs are eligible to be picked up the expansion draft. However Las Vegas must choose at least 20 players under contract for the 2017-18 season. A player like Pavs would be valuable only in that they could help them get to the 60% or salary cap threshold and then be dumped to maximize their ability to sign free agents in the off season. I doubt that will be their strategy though so it’s very unlikely he’s taken.

  • Travis

    I just realized something. If Bucky went 26-19-4, that means he got 57.1% of the possible points. If we had played him the entire 82-game season (and he been able to keep up that pace, which is admittedly unlikely), the Jets would have earned 93.7 points at the end of the season, basically giving us a three-way tie for the west’s wildcard spot with Calgary and Nashville. Depending on how the ROWs pan out, we might have made the playoffs in such a scenario.

    It couldn’t have happened, of course, no goaltender can handle that without faltering eventually, but my points are rather this: A: Hellebuyck is actually ‘good enough’ to get us to playoffs, if only just. And B: even with 0.908 season goaltending, the Jets can make it to the postseason. Even a small bump to that number would make a big difference, and imagine what we’d look like with a season 0.917 or 0.920+ save percent?