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Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Way Too Early Goalie Edition

The 2019-20 season isn’t technically over, but with little hockey news to discuss, why not continue way-too-early fantasy hockey rankings! Finishing up the series is the goaltenders. Hopefully, you found this series fun and informative. Be sure to check out my Top 10 Centers, Top 10 Left Wing, Top 10 Right Wing and Top 10 Defensemen articles too.

These rankings are always fun to do. Like the other positions, there are different ways to look at which goalie is a better option. Some people base rankings solely on wins, others goals against average (GAA), but that’s not the ideal way to look at it. Ideally, you’d want to factor in four different statistical categories; Wins, GAA, Save % and Shots Against. Keeping all four in mind while assessing past production is key.

Lets get to it!

Way Too Early Fantasy Hockey Rankings

Top 10 Goaltenders

1. Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets

58 games played: 56 starts / 31-21-5 record / 6 Shutouts / .922 sv% / 2.57 GAA / 1,796 Shots Against

It was a tough choice for the top spot in this ranking. Hellebuyck took the lead spot for a few reasons. Using a minimum games played of 40, Hellebuyck was second in save percentage and first in shutouts. He was second to Carey Price in starts, but he still faced the most shots in the league. Second to Vasilevskiy in wins rounds out an elite scorecard for this season. A lot can change leading up to next season but, right now, Hellebuyck is holding that top spot.

2. Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning

52 games played: 52 starts / 35-14-3 record / 3 Shutouts / .917 sv% / 2.56 GAA / 1,605 Shots Against

A name everyone should be very familiar with, Vasilevskiy is a perennial top two fantasy hockey goalie. He leads the league in wins, mainly because the team in front of him is elite up and down the lineup. Vasilevskiy was edged out by Hellebuyck because of the save %, shots against and shutouts. Three categories that are more indicative of how a goalie plays. Finding Vasilevskiy at the top of this list closer to next season isn’t outside the realm of possibility though.

3. Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins

41 games played: 41 starts / 26-8-6 record / 5 Shutouts / .929 sv% / 2.12 GAA / 1,189 Shots Against

Rask would’ve been number one if he had a few more games played. He was dominant while he was on the ice this season. Leading the league in save % and GAA, tied for second in shutouts, and seventh in wins. That was all with playing as many as 17 less games then some goalies ahead of him. Among goalies that faced a minimum of 1,000 shots, only Antti Raanta allowed fewer goals (80) then Rask (85). Raanta also played only 33 games.

4. Ben Bishop – Dallas Stars44 games played: 43 starts / 21-16-4 record / 2 Shutouts / .920 sv% / 2.50 GAA / 1,286 Shots Against

Coming off of a stellar season, regression was bound to hit Bishop. Fortunately, he was able to continue some of that success. He ranked third in the NHL in both save percentage and goals against average, among goalies with a minimum of 40 appearances. Bishop has been a top fantasy hockey goalie option for a few years now, seeing his name towards the top of rankings shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people.

5. Jordan Binnington – St. Louis Blues50 games played: 50 starts / 30-13-7 record / 3 Shutouts / .912 sv% / 2.56 GAA / 1,430 Shots Against

Binnington came out of nowhere last year and carried the St. Louis Blues to a Stanley Cup Championship. He only played in 32 games last year, but he crushed it! There was a lot of hype surrounding him leading up to this season and Binnington produced a solid sophomore season. No sophomore slump in St. Louis, Binnington had the Blues in first place in the Central division prior to the stoppage. Keep an eye on him!

6. Carter Hart – Philadelphia Flyers

43 games played: 40 starts / 24-13-3 record / 1 Shutout / .914 sv% / 2.42 GAA / 1,100 Shots Against

Arguably the best goaltending prospect in the NHL (I’ll still argue Igor Shesterkin is, but that for another article), Carter Hart stepped up to a more prominent role in Philly. Getting 13 more starts then veteran Brian Elliot, Hart looks to have control of the Flyers net for the foreseeable future. Even though he didn’t garner the Calder buzz like Jordan Binnington, Hart could end up being a far better goalie over the course of their careers.

7. Frederik Andersen – Toronto Maple Leafs

52 games played: 52 starts / 29-13-7 record / 3 Shutouts / .909 sv% / 2.85 GAA / 1,577 Shots Against

Some will like this, some will not. Freddy has been a very consistent goalie his entire career. Leading into this season, he held a career .918 save percentage and a 2.59 GAA. Although the Maple Leafs aren’t the most stout defensive team, their offensive talent is elite. Points leagues that weigh wins heavy, Andersen could be a top five option. If the Leafs do take some measures to reinforce the defense, just a little, Freddy could be in the conversation for top three. Crazy, right?

8. Jacob Markstrom – Vancouver Canucks

43 games played: 43 starts / 23-16-4 record / 2 Shutouts / .918 sv% / 2.75 GAA / 1,420 Shots Against

This one is a little tricky. Even though it seems likely, it’s not set in stone that he will be returning to the Canucks next season. Since this is the Way Too Early edition, he stays. For now. Anyway, Markstrom has been consistent with his GAA over the last five years. Averaging a 2.73 GAA over that time isn’t a terrible spot to be, but his save percentage has been quietly on the rise. With the young talent on Vancouver, Markstrom is set up to be a sneaky fantasy option for a few more years.

9. Darcy Kuemper – Arizona Coyotes

29 games played: 29 starts / 16-11-2 record / 2 Shutouts / .928 sv% / 2.22 GAA / 903 Shots Against

This is another choice that could get a few side eyes. The only issue with Kuemper over the last two seasons has been injuries. When he was on the ice, he was great! Last year, he faced 1,676 shots on goal and had a .925 sv% and a 2.33 GAA. So, the numbers he posted during this season aren’t a big surprise. If he can stay healthy, Kuemper could be in the Vezina conversation.

10. Igor Shesterkin – New York Rangers

12 games played: 12 starts / 10-2-0 record / 0 Shutouts / .932 sv% / 2.52 GAA

Ok, I just felt the eye rolls.

Yes, it’s a small sample size. Yes, the Rangers overachieved a bit this season. And yes, the goalie situation in New York is full of question marks. But, no matter what happens, Shesterkin is the future of the Rangers and is one of the best goals prospects in the world. He dominated in the KHL, he dominated in the AHL then he stepped into the best league in the world and didn’t miss a beat. Even at a 50/50 split next season, seeing him put up top 10 fantasy numbers is very real.

Honorable Mentions

Goalies are a tough position to breakdown. I could list another five honorable mentions because those other guys have some serious upside and if the cards fall right on their teams, they could be on this list too. As always thanks for reading this fantasy hockey rankings series, I hope it gets the fantasy hockey conversation started up again.

Make sure you check out Tim Lambert’s (@TZLSports) fantasy hockey rankings too! His Top 10 Centers and Top 10 Left Wing articles are up now!

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