Connor Hellebuyck and Melanie MacKinnon named NHL’s Co-First Stars of the Week
The Winnipeg Jets, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, today announced that goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and the First Nations Pandemic Rapid Response Team’s Melanie MacKinnon have been named the NHL’s Co-First Stars of the Week for the week ending April 11, 2021.
Hellebuyck, 27, started the week with a 20-save effort in Winnipeg’s 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators. On Thursday, the Commerce, Mich. native stopped 36-of-38 shots in a 4-2 victory in Montreal over the Canadiens. Hellebuyck capped the week by stopping all 19 shots in a 5-0 shutout win over those same Canadiens on Saturday. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner led the NHL with three wins last week, while posting a miniscule .938 save percentage and 1.67 goals-against average to help the Jets to a perfect 3-0-0 week and vault the club into second place in the Scotia North Division.
On the season, Hellebuyck leads the NHL in shots against (1,014), saves (934), and minutes played (1,960) and is tied for first in games played (33) and third in wins (20). The 2012 fifth round pick (130th overall) has started six straight games and has a 4-1-1 record with a 1.66 goals-against and a .943 save percentage in those half-dozen starts.
MacKinnon serves as the executive director of the University of Manitoba’s Ongomiizwin – Health Services (OHS) team. In response to the pandemic, she has been coordinating Manitoba’s First Nations Pandemic Rapid Response Teams, a network of skilled healthcare professionals – including doctors, nurses and rehabilitation specialists – who quickly respond to urgent situations in remote and isolated communities across the province. When these communities experience COVID19 cases and outbreaks, the First Nations Pandemic Rapid Response Teams are deployed, often within 48 hours, to tend to pressing needs.
These teams are comprised of many Indigenous healthcare professionals as well as others who have committed their careers to serving Manitoba’s Indigenous and First Nations communities. They assist with contact tracing and isolation planning, bring rapid point-of-care testing equipment, establish testing sites, and schedule community members for testing – which helps contain clusters. They also collaborate with various levels of government and healthcare organizations to arrange transportation, food delivery and additional healthcare professionals to contribute to relief efforts.
This is the first time this season and the third time in his career that Hellebuyck has been selected in the NHL’s Three Stars of the Week (also First Star on January 1, 2018 and Second Star on January 22, 2018). He is the second Jets player to be selected in 2020-21 after Winnipeg had three appearances in the Three Stars of the Week last season. Hellebuyck along with Nikolaj Ehlers (March 15 – Third Star) are members of the Jets that have earned NHL Three Stars of the Week honours this season.