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Updated 2022-23 NHL Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Top 10 Goaltenders

Goaltenders can be such a big boost for your fantasy hockey team – they can also sink it, too. Here's a look at 10 of the best fantasy hockey goaltenders for the 2022-23 season.
Igor Shesterkin

Ah, goalies. 

When they’re great, it’s the best stress-free life ever. When they’re awful, there’s no rock big enough to crawl under. You just never quite know what’s going to happen. Imagine starting Alex Nedeljkovic against the Coyotes at home thinking, in the worst-case scenario, a relatively easy win with a few goals against. But, no, he allows seven goals on just 27 shots, tearing out your heart like Mola Ram and crushing any hopes of winning your weekly matchup.

As the league caters more and more to offense, good goaltending has become increasingly more difficult to find. Their workloads have also become lighter, with only a handful managing to make at least 60 appearances, and many teams will opt for a timeshare. League-wide save percentages are down, while goals per game, goals against and power play efficiencies are all trending up. Partially due to injuries and cap reasons, a record 119 goalies made at least one appearance last season. While the choices have become more plentiful, it also means elite goalies should be more coveted than ever.

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning

There’s no debate. He’s a workhorse who has led the league in wins for five straight seasons and the Lightning are still Cup contenders. Given how rare elite goalies have become these days, he’s the only goalie worth your first-round pick. Moving on…

2. Igor Shesterkin, Rangers

Shesterkin’s talent and body of work last season places him firmly in the second spot, even if the Rangers regress this season. His .928 Sv% over the past three seasons ranks first in the league and he’ll likely have a huge workload with Jaroslav Halak, who has a .904 Sv% over the past two seasons and will turn 38 this season, backing him up.

3. Jacob Markstrom, Flames

The Flames recovered with big moves after losing two of their top-line players, and under Darryl Sutter should continue to be a very tough team to beat. Sutter is known for leaning heavily on his starting goalies, and it’s a good bet Markstrom will make at least 60 starts again after being one of five goalies to do so last season. He’s finished top-five in Vezina voting twice in the past three seasons.

4. Frederik Andersen, Hurricanes

His injury history and playoff meltdowns aside, Andersen is a very good regular-season goalie who will have no problem racking up 30-plus wins. He’s done so in five of the six seasons he’s made at least 50 starts, and ranks fifth in wins (261) and tied-12th in save percentage (.916) in that span. One drawback: Antti Raanta is a threat to Andersen’s playing time and may end up in a timeshare at a certain point if load management becomes a consideration.

5. Juuse Saros, Predators

Since Saros took over the starting job, he’s saved more goals than everyone else at 5-on-5, according to naturalstattrick.com, outpacing both Vasilevskiy and Shesterkin and ranking well ahead of Markstrom. The risk with Saros is the team in front of him; several of their players set career bests last season and it remains to be seen if they can do it again, but at least their defense will be improved with the addition of Ryan McDonagh.

6. Thatcher Demko, Canucks

Demko earned a third-place vote for the Vezina last season, ranking fifth in starts (61) and ninth in wins (34). He’s expected to have a huge workload again with 27-year-old rookie Spencer Martin and his nine career NHL appearances slated to be the backup, making him a great option for a league that count saves. The problem? The Canucks’ defense is still expected to be very poor.

7. Tristan Jarry, Penguins

Moving from Marc-Andre Fleury to Matt Murray didn’t quite work out, but moving from Murray to Jarry is looking like a pretty smart move. We tend to overrate Fleury and Murray because they won Cups, but it’s possible Jarry’s individual numbers end up being better than both. Over the past three seasons, Jarry’s 79 wins and 23.30 GSAA at 5-on-5 both rank sixth in the league. He’s also surprisingly consistent with a Quality Start Percentage above .610 – anything over 60 percent is considered good and the league average is roughly 53 percent – in each of the past three seasons, according to hockey-reference.com, a number only matched by Shesterkin among goalies in this top-10 list.

8. Ilya Sorokin, Islanders

If the Isles are smart, there won’t be a timeshare anymore. Sorokin is seven years younger than Semyon Varlamov and also the better goalie and ranks in the top three in both save percentage and GAA since signing with the Isles. He’s in line for his first 30-win season, with the only concern being the Isles’ lack of moves over the summer after a disappointing season and the unfamiliarity of having a new coach behind the bench.

9. Jack Campbell, Oilers

When Campbell’s on, he’s fantastic. Over the past 10 seasons, he’s tied for seventh in save percentage (.917) and sixth in GAA (2.51) among goalies with at least 100 appearances but also ranks 43rd in games started (124). He’s expected to be a workhorse on a team with a shaky defense and he’s never started more than 47 games in a season. He’s clearly an upgrade over Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen, but the Oilers continue to play with fire at a position that has cost them a lot of games in the McDavid era. Campbell’s in line for a lot of wins, but his injury history cannot be ignored.

10. Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers

How much of a threat is Spencer Knight to Bobrovsky’s playing time? The Panthers don’t need to make a decision yet but they will need to sooner or later. Bobrovsky ranks in the top 10 for being an immensely talented goalie who can easily win 35-plus games on a very good team, but he’s such a dicey play night-to-night and only worthwhile for fantasy managers who are patient enough to hold through extended stretches of poor play.

Honorable Mention

Jake Oettinger, Stars

Oettinger’s playoff run was incredible and the only reason the Stars managed to keep their series against the Flames close. The 23-year-old carries some risk because the development of goalies is usually rife with rough patches – he’s also still unsigned as of mid-August – but the upside is potentially tremendous and in a best-case scenario could easily rank in the top five. Peter DeBoer’s system will provide more goal support, but the downside is less help in his own zone.

Connor Hellebuyck, Jets

Hellebucyk’s fantasy value derives mostly from the fact that he’s a workhorse. A defensive corps that has been depleted over the years means Hellebuyck saw a league-high 2,155 shots last season, the fourth straight season he’s led the league in both shots faced and saves. The wins will be difficult to come by but Hellebuyck will provide surplus value in the peripheral categories.

Jordan Binnington, Blues

Okay, so it’s a very outside chance Binnington is a top-10 goalie, but he’s in a very good situation among the honourable mentions. Thomas Greiss is not a big threat and the Blues are expected to be a very good team. Binnington was excellent in the playoffs – 4-1-0, .949 save percentage, 1.72 GAA – and represents a very high-reward, high-risk play. The downside is Binnington potentially becoming Matt Murray 2.0.

Alexandar Georgiev, Avalanche

Once the big names are off the board, Georgiev should be a top target for the defending champions. His peripheral numbers may not be very good, but note he went 8-1-0 down the final stretch of the season. The Avs are so good that, like when Darcy Kuemper was their starter, they don’t need Georgiev to be lights-out to win games. If Georgiev can grab the majority of the starts over the 32-year-old Pavel Francouz, 30 wins isn’t out of the question. This far down the list, all the goalies will be imperfect, so you might as well grab the one who has the best chance to rack up the wins.

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