2021-22 Vezina Trophy Power Rankings: Campbell, Jarry Among the Best

They’re known as a quirky breed, one of hockey’s toughest positions and sometimes the least rewarding in terms of the credit they get for their team’s accomplishments. We’re talking, of course, about goaltenders and getting the recognition they deserve.

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So, that’s why instead of focusing on three possible candidates for the 2021-22 Vezina Trophy that is given each year to the NHL’s top goaltender, we’re going to have a running power rankings discussing the top 10 candidates for the award all year long. It’ll include a little breakdown of each candidate and where they rank at points throughout the season based on stats and overall play.

2021-22 Vezina Trophy Power Rankings Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tristan Jarry and JackCampbell
Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tristan Jarry and JackCampbell (The Hockey Writers)

With that, here’s a look at your inaugural Vezina Trophy power rankings with some interesting names leading the way. Keep in mind that to get on this list, goalies must have played at least 10 games at this point in the season.

10. Anthony Stolarz, Anaheim Ducks

Wait, what? This one might come as a bit of a surprise, but Stolarz has been a part of a pretty impressive tandem in Anaheim to start the year. While he only has six wins – and holds a record of 6-2-1 – Stolarz’s numbers among goalies that’ve appeared in 10 games this season are pretty impressive.

He has a 2.13 goals against average (GAA) and .932 save percentage (SV%) with two shutouts so far this season and while 10 games doesn’t seem like a big enough sample size, Stolarz ranks sixth in GAA and is tied for third in SV%. As for shutouts, he’s just three off the league lead.

Take it for what you will, but he’s also averaging 31 shots faced per 60 minutes. That’s not exactly on the lower end of the spectrum.

9. Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks

Call it what you want, but the Canucks simply weren’t having a good season. Demko was playing some good hockey, but the team was letting down their goalie on a regular basis with Travis Green not sure what to make of his lineup. Exit, Green. And enter Bruce Boudreau and the Canucks look like a completely different team.

Related: Canucks’ Thatcher Demko Is One of the NHL’s Best Goaltenders

Demko, who has appeared in 27 games, now has a 15-11-1 winning record to go along with a very good 2.55 GAA and .920 SV%. Top that up with a shutout and his numbers aren’t as bad as what the team was playing like.

While he’s not a top dog for this award yet, the 26-year-old has made strides in becoming a legitimate starting goalie in the NHL and has kept the Canucks alive in what’s been a crazy season for the team.

8. Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers

Speaking of 26-year-olds, here’s another guy that will be talked about as a phenomenal goalie for years to come. Following in the footsteps of King Henrik Lundqvist, Shesterkin is backstopping the Rangers to some solid hockey so far this season with his 15-4-2 record through 21 games.

Igor Shesterkin/Shestyorkin New York Rangers
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

On top of that, he’s sporting an impressive 2.09 GAA, a .936 SV% and two shutouts. He has the fourth best save percentage to this point in the season, but has faced just the 14th most shots in the league at 655. It pays to have a good defence in front of you, sometimes. That said, don’t count him out just yet.

7. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks

For years, injuries have held back Gibson who could’ve arguably made Team USA for the Olympics this season as their possible starter. Remembering that many counted the Ducks out in 2021-22, Gibson’s play has kept them in the conversation as a young up-and-coming squad.

He’s posted a 2.71 GAA and .915 SV% through 26 games with a record of 11-9-6 and one shutout. What sets Gibson apart is that he sits second in the league to Demko (853) in shots against with 837 and has still been able to put up impressive numbers so far this season.

Barring any injuries, Gibson could be in the conversation as the season continues and the young ducklings get some more experience at the NHL level.

6. Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators

With the exit of Pekka Rinne in Nashville, the Predators’ Saros era began and he hasn’t disappointed. A fourth-round pick in 2013, Saros has played 26 games this season for the Preds and is on pace for his most productive season since coming into the NHL in 2015-16.

Through 26 games, he has a record of 16-9-1 with a 2.24 GAA and .925 SV%. He’s tied with Jack Campbell for second in wins and one shy of the league lead. His numbers are good enough to put him in the top 10 in most categories and while he flies under the radar a bit in Nashville, his potential shouldn’t be taken lightly.

5. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

A former winner of the award back in 2019, Vasilevskiy is vying for another Vezina with the back-to-back champs – the Lightning. And he’s sure making a good case to have his name included on the ballot this season.

He has a 17-5-3 record in 25 games this season, and while his two shutouts surely contributed to his 2.21 GAA and .925 SV%, Vasilevskiy has one of the best defences in front of him which certainly doesn’t hurt his case.

That said, nothing can be taken away from one of the best goalies in the league. The only reason he’s not in the top three right now is that there are some goaltenders playing lights out for teams around the league. Still, it’s worth noting he leads the league in wins along with Frederik Andersen.

4. Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames

Is it worth calling him the shutout king, or is it still too early? Markstrom is one of the main reasons the Flames have been on fire this season. While his record of 12-6-5 in 23 games this season isn’t overly telling of how well he’s played, his league-leading five shutouts speak for themselves.

Jacob Markstrom Calgary Flames
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Add to that his 1.99 GAA which is good enough for fourth in the league and his .930 SV% that has him ranked fifth in the NHL, and he’s among the best in the game this season. He’s averaging just over 28 shots against per 60 minutes this season, but should be a consideration for the Vezina considering how poised he’s played for a team that was considered a bubble club coming into the year.

3. Frederik Andersen, Carolina Hurricanes

New franchise. New Freddy. Andersen has played out of his mind this season for the Hurricanes and being on a team that has seemingly bought in at every turn has benefitted the former Toronto Maple Leafs goalie.

He’s tied for first with Vasilevskiy in the win column with 17 and next to Jack Campbell he’s second in goals against average at 1.92. While he’s averaging just over 27 shots against per 60 minutes, Andersen has a save percentage of .929 and one shutout.

Leaving Toronto seems to have rejuvenated the 32-year-old with less pressure and more support in front of him. Regardless of what created the change, Andersen will likely be up for the award by season’s end.

2. Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins

Their reign of being a competitive team isn’t over yet and they’ve done it without Evgeni Malkin. However, many weren’t confident that Jarry was the guy they needed in net following up behind years of seeing Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray run the show.

Jarry had other plans this season, though, and is off to a great start. He holds a 15-5-4 record over 24 games played and has third best GAA at 1.93. His .932 save percentage is tied for second with Stolarz, although he’s played more games than the Ducks’ netminder, and has three shutouts to show for it.

It was Fleury, then Murray. But it seems like Jarry might be figuring it out in Pittsburgh.

1. Jack Campbell, Toronto Maple Leafs

His first year as a legitimate NHL starter and his back-up going down with injuries couldn’t stop Campbell from starting the year as arguably the best goalie statistically speaking. He sits second in wins behind Andersen and Vasilevskiy with 16 and holds an impressive 16-5-2 record over his first 24 games.

His 1.86 GAA is best among goalies that’ve appeared in at least 10 games this season and his .939 SV% is tops in the NHL. He sits second in shutouts with four, behind Markstrom, and is averaging 30 shots per 60 minutes this season.

Some might argue that his numbers aren’t sustainable for the remainder of the season especially with how much the team has relied on him, but for now Campbell is the favourite to win the Vezina Trophy.

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