NEW YORK (May 10, 2022) – Jacob Markstrom of the Calgary Flames, Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2021-22 Vezina Trophy, awarded “to the goaltender adjudged to be the best at his position,” the National Hockey League announced today.
NHL general managers submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Following are the finalists for the Vezina Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames
Markstrom (37-15-9, 2.22 goals-against average, .922 save percentage) posted a League-leading nine shutouts in 63 appearances, surpassing the eight career shutouts he had recorded over 315 games entering the season. He jump-started the Pacific Division-winning campaign for the Flames (50-21-11) by becoming the first goaltender in franchise history to notch three shutouts in a four-game span (Oct. 21-30), highlighted by a 45-save effort Oct. 28 at Pittsburgh. Markstrom finished third in the race for the William Jennings Trophy, with only the Hurricanes (202) and Rangers (207) sporting a lower goals-against total than the Flames’ 208. Markstrom is an NHL Awards finalist for the first time. He is the first Flames netminder voted a Vezina Trophy finalist since Miikka Kiprusoff (t-3rd) in 2006-07 and is aiming to become the second winner in franchise history, following Kiprusoff in 2005-06.
Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
Following five seasons in tandem with Pekka Rinne in the Nashville net, Saros claimed the starter role in 2021-22 following Rinne’s retirement and recorded 38 of the Predators’ 45 wins, the highest percentage (84.4%) among all NHL goaltenders. He backstopped the Predators (45-30-7) to their eighth consecutive playoff berth by leading the NHL in appearances (67), all of them starts, and total ice time (3,931:23); ranking second overall in shots against (2,107) and saves (1,934); and third in wins. The 27-year-old also won three of his four shootout appearances, stopping 11 of 12 attempts for a .917 save percentage. Saros (38-25-3, 2.64 GAA, .918 SV%, four shutouts) is a first-time Vezina Trophy finalist and joins Rinne as the second netminder in franchise history so honored. Rinne was a four-time Vezina finalist, capturing the award in 2017-18, finishing second twice and third once.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
Shesterkin posted a League-leading 2.07 goal-against average and .935 save percentage, helping the Rangers (52-24-6) reach 110 points, the third-highest total in franchise history. He recorded the seventh-best save percentage among all NHL goaltenders since the statistic was first officially recorded in 1955-56 (min. 25 GP) and became the second Rangers netminder to top the save percentage chart, following Gump Worsley in 1957-58. He went 36-13-4 with six shutouts in 52 appearances, recording his 30th win of the season in his 41st game – the fewest games required in franchise history. A first-time Vezina Trophy finalist, he is the first Rangers netminder voted in the top three since former teammate Henrik Lundqvist, who made five finalist appearances and took home the trophy in 2011-12. Shesterkin is vying to become the third Rangers goaltender to win the Vezina under the current selection criteria (since 1981-82), joining Lundqvist and John Vanbiesbrouck (1985-86).
Did You Know
All three goaltenders are making their debut as Vezina Trophy finalists for the first time since 2014 (Ben Bishop, TBL; Tuukka Rask, BOS; Semyon Varlamov, COL) and for just the third time in the past 32 years (also 2009: Niklas Backstrom, MIN; Steve Mason, CBJ; Tim Thomas, BOS).
Leo Dandurand, Louis Letourneau and Joe Cattarinich, former owners of the Montreal Canadiens, presented the trophy to the NHL in 1926-27 in memory of Georges Vezina, the outstanding Canadiens goaltender who collapsed during an NHL game on Nov. 28, 1925, and died of tuberculosis a few months later. Before the 1981-82 season, the goaltender(s) of the team allowing the fewest number of goals during the regular season was awarded the Vezina Trophy.
The three finalists for the 2022 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 20. The series of announcements continues Wednesday, May 11, when the three finalists for the Calder Trophy will be unveiled.