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Odds to Win the Vezina Trophy: Is it Vasilevskiy’s Time?

Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning reacts in the second period against the Washington Capitals in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on May 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.

The NHL’s year-end award for being the top goaltender in a season, the Vezina Trophy, is as prestigious as pieces of hardware get for netminders, and the race for which man will garner the bragging rights in the 2018-19 campaign is wide open according to sportsbooks.

According to Bovada, Columbus Blue Jackets superstar puck-stopper Sergei Bobrovsky is the +450 Vezina favorite, with Andrei Vasilevskiy (+500), Connor Hellebuyck (+500), John Gibson (+800), Braden Holtby (+900), Devan Dubnyk (+1100), Carey Price (+1200), Pekka Rinne (+1500), Marc-Andre Fleury (+1800) and Jonathan Quick (+1800) comprising the top 10 on the list.

The award is named in honor of Georges Vezina, goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens from 1910 to 1925. The Vezina Trophy was first awarded after the 1926-27 NHL season and has been given to the goaltender who is “adjudged to be the best at this position” by a vote from the 31 general managers around the league. Rinne earned the honors last season after posting a 42-13-4 record along with a 2.31 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

Winning the Vezina two years in a row is tough

The Vezina Trophy is often perceived as the toughest to predict out of the major NHL awards. In a 14-season stretch from 1993-94 to 2007-08, Dominik Hasek (six) and Martin Brodeur (four) captured 10 Vezinas.

Since Brodeur won two in 2006-07 and 2007-08, we haven’t seen a single goalie defend the Vezina for the second season in a row. Bobrovsky and retired Boston Bruins hero Tim Thomas are the only goaltenders to win it twice over the past 10 years. It’s important to remember that ballots are cast before Game 1 of the playoffs, so postseason performance doesn’t factor into the process.

My Vezina pick

Bobrovsky deserves to be the favorite and is primed to put up more eye-popping numbers in a contract year, but my Vezina pick is Vasilevskiy. The Russian was looking like a lock to win the Vezina last season before tumbling down the stretch, as Vasilevskiy was boasting a 2.18 GAA and .931 save percentage at the all-star break before finishing the season with a 2.62 GAA and .920 save percentage.

It’s no secret Vasilevskiy grew fatigued in his 65 appearances, as his previous high sat at 50. He still co-led the NHL with 44 victories, however, and was integral in Tampa Bay’s run to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final. He’s destined to have many Vezinas on his mantle before his career is done, and the first one could very well happen in 2018-19.

Looking for more NHL betting information? Check out my Best Bets for Every NHL Team season preview and then head over to our hockey page.

Odds on which NHL player will win the Vezina Trophy in the 2018-19 season
GoaltenderOdds
Sergei Bobrovsky+450
Andrei Vasilevskiy+500
Connor Hellebuyck+500
John Gibson+800
Braden Holtby+900
Devan Dubnyk+1100
Carey Price+1200
Pekka Rinne+1500
Marc-Andre Fleury+1800
Jonathan Quick+1800
Matt Murray+1800
Tuukka Rask+2000
Frederik Andersen+2500
Martin Jones+2500
Antti Raanta+4000
Mike Smith+4000
Roberto Luongo+4000

Odds as of October 3 at Bovada

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