Vezina Trophy Power Rankings: Andersen shining in Carolina
In the first edition of theScore's 2021-22 Vezina Trophy Power Rankings, we take a look at which goalies are off to hot starts early in the season.
GAA = Goals against average
xGA/60 = Expected goals against per 60 minutes
SV% = Save percentage
HDSV% = High danger save percentage
GSAA = Goals saved above average
5. James Reimer, San Jose Sharks
There's no chance anybody entered the season with Reimer on a list of the league's top netminders, but here we are. The 33-year-old has been fantastic for the Sharks and is one of the main reasons the club is off to a 6-3-0 start.
Reimer's .950 save percentage and 1.54 goals against average both rank second in the league, and his .957 high danger save percentage leads all goalies. Reimer has never been a true workhorse netminder - topping 40 games played just three times in 11 seasons - so his volume of playing time likely won't keep him on this list for too long. But for now, we have to give credit where it's due.
4. Sergei Bobrovsky, Florida Panthers
Is Bobrovsky finally back?
The 33-year-old had been near the bottom of the league in multiple statistical categories since signing a monster contract with the Panthers in 2019, barely looking like his former Vezina-winning self. It's been a whole different story this season, as the Russian netminder owns a perfect 6-0-0 record alongside a dazzling .944 save percentage.
One of the only things that seemingly could've held this Panthers team back was its questionable goaltending. But, for the time being, Bobrovsky looks like he's back to being elite, which is scary for the rest of the NHL.
3. Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
Shesterkin signed a historic deal during the summer with the Rangers, receiving the largest second contract ever given to an NHL netminder. He had just 47 games under his belt at the time, but Shesterkin's talent in the crease is undeniable.
The 25-year-old, who's already established himself as one of the league's top goalies, doesn't have many holes in his game. He ranks second in the NHL with 7.72 goals saved above average, all while facing 32.5 shots per 60 minutes. Shesterkin will surely be in the Vezina conversation for years to come, and it'll only be a matter of time before he gets his hands on the trophy.
2. Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames
The Flames are one of the NHL's hottest teams early on, and a big reason for that is Markstrom's superb play. With three shutouts so far this season - including an impressive 45-save outing against the Penguins - it's no surprise that the 31-year-old is near the top of this list.
Markstrom sits No. 1 in the NHL with a .964 save percentage at five-on-five while also owning an impressive .900 high danger save percentage. This is the exact kind of play the Flames expected from Markstrom when they gave him a massive contract last summer. Some reliable goaltending could be Calgary's recipe for success after the team was plagued by inconsistency over the last few seasons.
1. Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes
Andersen's Hurricanes tenure couldn't be off to a better start. Carolina is the only undefeated team remaining in the NHL with a sparkling 8-0-0 record, and Andersen is responsible for seven of those victories.
He ranks first in the league with 8.61 goals saved above average and a .956 save percentage. After a rough campaign with the Maple Leafs last season, Andersen has rebounded nicely in his new home and is once again looking like one of the league's best netminders.
Honorable mentions: Mikko Koskinen, Elvis Merzlikins, Ilya Sorokin
(Advanced stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick)