- The New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin (+135) is running away with the Vezina Trophy
- 2021 Conn Smythe winner Andrei Vasilevskiy (+550) could finish runner-up for the NHL’s best goaltender for the second-straight year
- Frederik Anderson (+800) is having an incredible season for the Carolina Hurricanes
Igor Shesterkin is the clear frontrunner for the Vezina Trophy, but should bettors feel comfortable backing the Rangers netminder?
Goaltending is professional sports’ most mercurial position and there are still two months of the season left to play. The award for the NHL’s best goalie is also voted on by the league’s 32 general managers, rather than sportswriters, so there could be an injustice at the ballot box, like when Marc-Andre Fleury won over Andrei Vasilevskiy last year.
Before we check the latest Vezina odds and put forward our winning picks, here’s where you can find the top betting sites for NHL hockey in 2022.
2022 Vezina Trophy
Is Igor Shesterkin unbeatable?
Henrik who? Igor Shesterkin (+135) is leading the NHL with 28.5 goals saved above expected and an insane .939 save percentage. Since the Rangers have also allowed the most ‘scoring chances against’ in the league, the 26-year-old also deserves credit for getting New York back in the playoffs for the first time in five years.
The only potential quibble with the Russian’s resume is that he’s played way fewer games (32) than the other backstops in contention for the Vezina.
Igor Shesterkin is the fastest Rangers goaltender to reach 50 career wins, requiring only 79 career games.
Shesterkin becomes the 14th goalie in NHL history to reach mark in first 79 career games and first since St. Louis Blues, Jordan Binnington. pic.twitter.com/PyhNnAKqnq
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 21, 2022
For instance, Jusse Saros (+1000) has started 10 more games than Shesterkin while facing a league-high 1,335 shots and making a NHL-best 1,232 saves. The Finnish native is almost single-handedly keeping his Predators in the playoff picture.
Jacob Markstrom (+1200) also has six more games played than the Rangers goaltender. More importantly, he has a league-leading eight shutouts with a sparkling .927 SV% and 2.09 GAA. If the 32-year-old can pick up some more wins (he only has 22) for the red-hot Flames down the stretch, he’ll be a serious Vezina contender.
The case for Vasilevskiy
Andrei Vasilevskiy (+550) is tied for the league lead in wins (26) and has a very respectable .922 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average. Like his Tampa teammate Victor Hedman, who only has one Norris Trophy, it feels flat-out wrong that the 2021 Conn Smythe winner has only been named the NHL’s top netminder once.
If Shesterkin were to falter down the stretch, the 27-year-old would make a worthy Vezina winner.
Several current @PredsNHL and @TBLightning players have yet to play in an NHL outdoor game, including goaltenders Juuse Saros and Andrei Vasilevskiy. #StadiumSeries#NHLStats: https://t.co/jktGw4bj38 pic.twitter.com/tcfeS15xAG
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 18, 2022
Maple Leafs, past and present
How good of year is Frederik Anderson (+800) having in Carolina? The former Maple Leaf is tied for the NHL lead in wins (26) and second only to Shesterkin in goals saved above expected (24.8). The 32-year-old also places No. 2 in save percentage (.927), and third in goals-against-average (2.10) among netminders with 30+ starts.
The only reason why Toronto management doesn’t have egg on their face is that Jack Campbell (+800) hasn’t been too shabby himself with 23 victories, a .922 SV%, a 2.41 GAA and four shutouts.
Frederik Anderson denies Trent Frederic’s high-danger chance: pic.twitter.com/MTa5IefRtF
— Blake Thorne (@_BlakeThorne) February 11, 2022
While there are no shortage of worthy Vezina contenders, Igor Shesterkin (+135) has the most air-tight case with the most goals saved above expected, an incredible save percentage and a mediocre team that’s assured a playoff spot thanks to him.
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