AHL alumni capture 2023-24 NHL Awards

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets won the Vezina Trophy as the National Hockey League’s outstanding goaltender for the 2023-24 season, one of several honors garnered by American Hockey League alumni at Thursday’s NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas.

It was the second career Vezina Trophy win for Hellebuyck, who spent his first two pro seasons in the AHL playing for the St. John’s IceCaps (2014-15) and Manitoba Moose (2015-16). He went 41-37-6 with a 2.55 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 88 AHL appearances, and was an AHL All-Star as a rookie in 2015.

Hellebuyck (37-19-4, 2.39, .921, five shutouts) was a near-unanimous selection, winning 31 first-place votes and one second-place tally from the 32 voting NHL general managers. He also won the William Jennings Trophy as the goaltender on the team allowing the fewest regular-season goals, helping the Jets earn a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth for the sixth time in the past seven years.

Hellebuyck also earned a spot on the NHL First All-Star Team, along with fellow AHL alumni Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators. Nashville’s Filip Forsberg, Boston’s David Pastrnak and Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko were named to the Second All-Star Team.

Marco Rossi of the Minnesota Wild and 2022 Calder Cup champion Pyotr Kochetkov of the Carolina Hurricanes were selected to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

All told, more than 87 percent of all National Hockey League players in 2023-24 were graduates of the American Hockey League, including 349 players who skated in both leagues over the course of the season.