2020-21 NHL Season Midway Rankings: Vezina Trophy Finalists

Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Andrei Vasilevskiy #88 of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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2. Philipp Grubauer – Colorado Avalanche

Through his first two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche after being acquired in a trade from the Washington Capitals, many were unsure Philipp Grubauer was the goalie who could lead this team to a Stanley Cup. It wasn’t that his past two seasons were horrible, but he struggled with injuries and was just average when he was healthy.

Many suggested that with his contract set to expire at the end of this season, the team would be best to let him walk and go with Pavel Francouz, who by all accounts was the better of the two last season.

However, this year has been a completely different story. The Avs have been forced to rely on Grubauer heavily as Francouz has yet to play due to a lower-body injury. He has appeared in 27 of their 32 games and has simply been fantastic, posting a league-leading 1.69 GAA amongst goalies who have played 10 or more games, paired with a .931 SV% and a 20-7-0 record.

Any questions regarding the 29-year-old’s future with this team have certainly been erased, and General Manager Joe Sakic will have to do everything he can to get him re-signed, with Grubauer an Unrestricted Free Agent after this season and likely to command more than his current $3,333,333 cap hit.

With Francouz’ return not appearing to be any time soon, Philipp Grubauer will continue to be heavy relied on going forward. If he is able to keep up his play with this heavy of a workload, he has a great shot to win the Vezina Trophy come the end of the 2020-21 season.