2009-10: Connor Hellebuyck played for Michigan’s Walled Lake Northern HS in suburban Detroit and was named a Division 2 All-State honorable mention as a junior.
2010-11: Hellebuyck, a senior, competed in his fourth year of varsity hockey for Walled Lake Northern and played for Team Michigan in the 2011 Minnesota National Invitation Tournament. Prior to the high school season he represented Michigan in the Bauer NIT and was 1-2 with a 3.29 goals against and .878 save percentage. Hellebuyck had a save percentage of .930 for Walled Lake Northern and again was a Division 2 All-State honorable mention. Hellebuyck started two games for Team Michigan in the Minnesota NIT high school all-star tournament and was 1-1 with a 3.89 goals against and .857 save percentage.
2011-12: Hellebuyck appeared in 53 of 60 games for the NAHL’s expansion Odessa Jackalopes and was named the league’s top rookie and goaltender of the year. He was 26-26 with 3 shutouts and had a 2.49 goals against and .930 save percentage. Odessa finished fourth in the NAHL’s South Division and lost to first-place Amarillo in a first round playoff series. Hellebuyck started all four games in the playoffs and was 1-3 with a 3.46 goals against and .934 save percentage. He committed to playing college hockey at Massachusetts Lowell in 2012-13. Not among the 35 North American goalies listed in Central Scouting’s final rankings, he was selected by Winnipeg in the fifth round (130th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Hellebuyck burst onto the college season as a freshman at Massachusetts-Lowell and was named the Hockey East tournament MVP. Sharing the goaltending duties with junior Doug Carr in the first half, Hellebuyck assumed the starter role during the second half of the season. In 24 games for the River Hawks he was 20-3 with six shutouts and had a 1.37 goals against and .952 save percentage. Massachusetts-Lowell won the Hockey East regular season and playoff titles, with Hellebuyck recording a 1-0 shutout over Boston University in the conference championship game. The River Hawks defeated Wisconsin and New Hampshire to capture the NCAA Northeast Regional championship before falling to eventual national champion Yale, 3-2 in overtime, in the Frozen Four semifinals.
2013-14: Hellebuyck was one of the top goalies in college hockey in his sophomore season — being named the East All-America First Team goalie. Playing in 29 of 41 games for Massachusetts-Lowell, he was 18-9-2 with six shutouts and had a 1.79 goals against and .941 save percentage. The River Hawks finished second to Boston College in the regular season and earned an NCAA tournament berth after winning the Hockey East tournament. Hellebuyck had back-to-back shutouts in the Hockey East semifinal and final games against Notre Dame and New Hampshire respectively. The River Hawks defeated Minnesota State, 2-1, in the Northeast Regional semifinals before falling to Boston College, 4-3 in the region championship game. Hellebuyck signed a three-year entry-level contract with Winnipeg in April 2014; foregoing his final two years of college hockey.
Hellebuyck has the athleticism and physical attributes to be a successful starting goalie. Skating for one of the top defending teams in college hockey he had unbelievable numbers. While he likely will not match those numbers at the pro level his upside is significant.
Hellebuyck left college hockey following his sophomore season and is skating for Winnipeg AHL affiliate St. John's in 2014-15; splitting time with veteran Peter Budaj. Hellebuyck should benefit from Budaj's mentorship and has the potential to be a starter at the NHL level one day.