Former NAHL, Odessa goalie Hellebuyck wins Mike Richter Award
April 11, 2014
Former NAHL Goaltender/Rookie of Year, Odessa Jackalopes and UMass-Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebuyck was named the inaugural winner of the Mike Richter Award, given to college hockey's top goalie. Hellebuyck compiled an 18-9-2 record with the River Hawks this season. He led the nation in both goals against average (1.79) and save percentage (.941).
Hellebuyck was simply dominant in his two seasons of college hockey, and more than deserving as the first ever recipient of college hockey's top goalie award. Hellebuyck was a First-Team All-Star, the Hockey East Tournament MVP and a two-time Hockey East Goaltender of the Month.
In two seasons with the River Hawks, Hellebuyck posted a 38-12-2 record in 52 career starts to go along with a 1.60 GAA, .946 save percentage and a school-record 12 shutouts. His save percentage currently ranks first all-time in the Div. I career record book, while his GAA is third best all-time.
Last week, Hellebuyck signed a three-year, two-way contract with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.
Just two years ago during the 2011-12 season, Hellebuyck was completing his first and only season in the NAHL. Hellebuyck led the Jackalopes to a playoff berth in their first season of NAHL action. His 29-21-5 record during the season earned him NAHL Goaltender of the Year, Rookie of the Year, All-NAHL Team, All-South Division Team and All-Rookie First Team honors.
Later in the summer of 2012, he was drafted in the 5th round by the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets.