Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been awarded the 2012-13 Vezina Trophy, given annually “to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position” as voted by National Hockey League general managers, the League and club announced tonight at United Center in Chicago prior to Game Two of the Stanley Cup Final between the Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. The other finalists for the award were Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks.
“I am very excited to receive this award and proud to be recognized with Henrik Lundqvist and Antti Niemi, who both had great seasons and are great goaltenders,” said Bobrovsky. “I would like to thank the Columbus Blue Jackets organization, my coaches and teammates who played so hard in front of me every night and the fans who supported us because this would not be possible without them. I also want to thank my family, especially my wife, Olga, my parents, Andrei and Larissa, and sister, Julia, for all of their love and support and everyone who has helped me achieve this great honor. I work hard to try to be the best player I can be and help my team win and am very honored to receive the Vezina Trophy.”
Bobrovsky, 24, posted a 21-11-6 record with a 2.00 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and four shutouts in 38 games this season. Among goaltenders that played 25 or more games, he ranked first in save percentage, second in goals-against average and sixth (tied) in wins and shutouts. He surrendered two goals or less in 26-of-38 games, including 10 outings in which he allowed one goal. He made 30 or more saves 16 times, including a season-high 39 on four occasions. From March 1 through the end of the season, he posted an 18-5-3 record with a 1.60 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and four shutouts in 26 games.
Bobrovsky was named one of the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week on three occasions during the 2012-13 season. He was named First Star for the weeks ending April 14 (3-0-0, 0.97 GAA, .971 SV% in 3 GP) and March 10 (4-0-0, 0.77 GAA, .972 SV% in 4 GP) and Third Star for the week ending March 17 (1-0-2, 0.62 GAA, .982 SV% in 3 GP). He was also named Third Star of the Month for March (9-2-3, 1.49 GAA, .950 SV%, 3 SO in 14 GP).
A native of Novokuznetsk, Russia, he was acquired by the Blue Jackets from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for second and fourth round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft and a fourth round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft on June 22, 2012. He has gone 63-34-16 with a 2.49 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and four shutouts in 121 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets and Flyers. Signed as an undrafted free agent, Bobrovsky went 28-13-8 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 54 games as a rookie in 2010-11.
Bobrovsky is the third player in Blue Jackets history to be recognized as an NHL award winner. He joins forward Rick Nash, who won the 2003-04 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the NHL’s top goal scorer and the 2008-09 NHL Foundation Award; and goaltender Steve Mason, who won the Calder Trophy as the League’s top rookie and was runner-up in voting for the Vezina Trophy in 2008-09.