Every major hockey media outlet, including The Hockey News, established the Winnipeg Jets and Tampa Bay Lightning as top contenders for the Stanley Cup this season. Analysts point to their depth of offensive talent, relative youth and the high tempo of play each team employs. Another factor enhances the high expectations for the Jets and Lightning: they both have one of the top young goalies. Connor Hellebuyck in Winnipeg and Andrei Vasilevskiy in Tampa Bay enjoyed splendid seasons in 2017-18 and elevated their performances in the playoffs. Both teams advanced to the final four. Neither team’s demise in the conference final was due to goaltending difficulties. Hellebuyck and Vasilevskiy are big, athletic, smart and competitive. Every NHL team would be pleased to have either. But if you cou...
About the Author
Tom Thompson spent 31 years in the NHL as a scout, Director of Scouting and Assistant General Manager. He was responsible for running 14 Entry Drafts for the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild and also worked for the Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers.