Vezina Trophy: Markstrom, Saros, Shesterkin are 2021-22 finalists
Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames, Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators, and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers have been voted as the three finalists for the 2021-22 Vezina Trophy. The award is given to the goaltender “adjudged to be the best at this position.”
The Vezina Trophy is voted on by the NHL’s 32 general managers at the end of the regular season.
Marc-Andre Fleury, then of the Vegas Golden Knights, was last season’s winner.
The 2021-22 NHL Award winners will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final.
[NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2022 First Round schedule, TV info]
The case for Jacob Markstrom: No goaltender recorded more shutouts this season than Markstrom’s nine. In helping the Flames to the Pacific Division title, he helped them to 37 wins in 3,695:50 total minutes played. Markstrom was fifth in even strength save percentage (.926) and goals saved above average (17.90), per Natural Stat Trick. His play helped Calgary finish third in the running for the William Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed. He is also the looking to become only the second goalie in franchise history win the award, following Miikka Kiprusoff in 2005-06.
The case for Juuse Saros: Missed mightily during their First Round series against Colorado and one of the big reasons for Nashville’s strong regular season, Saros was a part of 38 wins, posting four shutouts in the process in an NHL-best 3,931:23 of total ice time. His .927 ESSV% was good for fourth in the league while his 21.55 GSAA also saw him fourth among all goaltenders. He also finished second overall in saves (1,934). He is attempting to join Pekka Rinne as the only Vezina winners in franchise history.
The case for Igor Shesterkin: A potential Hart Trophy finalist, the Rangers goaltender won 36 of his 52 starts and recorded six shutouts. He led the NHL in ESSV% (.934) and GSAA (26.38). He also posted an .866 high-danger save percentage at even strength, which was only behind llya Sorokin of the New York Islanders. Shesterkin could become the third Vezina winner in franchise history, joining Henrik Lundqvist and John Vanbiesbrouck, since the NHL adopted the current criteria for the award in 1981-82.
Finalists for the 2021-22 Calder Trophy, which is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, will be announced on Wednesday.
NHL Award finalists announcement schedule:
Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, Cale Makar
Wednesday, May 11: Calder Memorial Trophy
Thursday, May 12: Hart Memorial Trophy
Friday, May 13: Ted Lindsay Award
Monday, May 16: Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy
Tuesday, May 17: Frank J. Selke Trophy
Wednesday, May 18: Lady Byng Memorial Trophy
Thursday, May 19: Jack Adams Award
Friday, May 20: King Clancy Memorial Trophy