Ranking NHL Teams By Goaltenders

*this archive was originally written by Eugene Helfrick

Goalies are the last line of defense for their NHL teams, and despite making it into the best professional hockey league in the world, some are capable of stealing games, and others are not. As one of the most talked about positions in all sports, an NHL netminder is not immune from praise or criticism based on statistics and their salaries.

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Moreover, one of the most highly contested races in the game is the Vezina Trophy chase, which usually leads to one or two players getting snubbed out of the award that could have easily been theirs in any other year. As NHL teams return to action following the All-Star Game, we had to revamp the goalie rankings to see which teams improved or took a step back heading into the campaign’s second half.

How These Rankings Came Together

These rankings came together based on wins, losses, goals against, save percentage numbers, goals against average, and shutouts. Of course, many netminders have had losing seasons, with poor statistics, and didn’t record any shutouts, which is why so many of them are ranked in the league’s bottom half.

Although the top goalies across the league rank amongst the top ten spots on this list, some find themselves outside because their partner’s statistics bring them down a few notches. Even though a handful of these players moved to new teams, we based these rankings on combined totals, which explains why some climbed and others stumbled.

Related: 3 Stanley Cup Winning Goalies Not in the Hockey Hall of Fame

Additionally, instead of ranking each tandem based on their role as a starter, backup, or third-string status, we sorted every team by their highest-paid netminder, which means several clubs are paying a lot of money to players who are not even their respective team’s starters.

Note: Any netminders with a * next to their name include statistics from another club in 2022-23

32 – San Jose Sharks

Kaapo Kähkönen$2.75 million27246-14-2.9013.550
Mackenzie Blackwood*$2.35 million27328-17-3.8993.511
Magnus Chrona$867,5002321-0-1.7249.500

Everything that could go wrong for the San Jose Sharks this season has gone wrong. Multiple game-losing streaks have destroyed the goalie statistics for the club, which ranks at or near the bottom in every significant category. Considering the team is heading for the top pick in the NHL Entry Draft, only Kaapo Kähkönen is set to become a free agent at season’s end, which means he could be re-signed or be dealt away.

31 – Ottawa Senators

Joonas Korpisalo$4 million293312-16-2.8893.380
Anton Forsberg$2.75 million311615-7-8.8893.351
Mads Søgaard$925,0002343-1-1.8255.090

In 2021-22, the Ottawa Senators had Filip Gustavsson and Anton Forsberg patrolling the crease and flipped Gustavsson to Minnesota for Cam Talbot the following summer. Unfortunately, injuries derailed the netminders in Canada’s capital city, as Forsberg tore both his MCLs and Talbot missed significant time with various lower body injuries. Although the team is committed to Forsberg for two more seasons, they made a splash in free agency by acquiring Joonas Korpisalo.

Joonas Korpisalo Ottawa Senators
Joonas Korpisalo, Ottawa Senators (Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

For a team projected to make the playoffs and potentially go on a deep run, the Senators have been a disappointment, and it all comes back to Korpisalo, who has struggled mightily with his new team. Even though the team is underperforming, they are not getting the numbers they expected when they brought him in through free agency.

30 – Columbus Blue Jackets

Elvis Merzlikins$5.4 million29289-10-7.9033.221
Danil Tarasov$1.05 million24103-5-2.8813.790
Spencer Martin$762,50028133-8-1.8873.650
Jet Greaves$758,3332221-1-0.9342.520

After letting Spencer Martin go, the Columbus Blue Jackets have left their goalie duties to Elvis Merzlikins and Danil Tarasov, who, much like the team, have struggled all season. Even though Merzlikins has improved statistically, he’s not doing enough to warrant a salary over $5 million, making him one of the impossible contracts to move. Despite the doom and gloom of this year, Jet Greaves will be a star for the club in the future when they are ready to take that next step.

29 – Chicago Blackhawks

NetminderSalaryAgeGP RecordSV%GAASO
Petr Mrazek$3.8 million313412-19-1.9102.921
Arvid Söderblom$962,50024202-15-1.8734.070

The Chicago Blackhawks are getting good numbers from Petr Mrazek while watching Arvid Söderblom have one of the worst statistical seasons in the NHL. Although both netminders losing records, the team wins more when Mrazek is between the pipes. Interestingly, both netminders have a season left on their deals, which begs the question, is this the tandem for next year?

28 – Anaheim Ducks

John Gibson$6.4 million303210-19-1.9013.050
Lukáš Dostál$812,50023198-11-1.9023.500

John Gibson has played his entire career with the Anaheim Ducks, but since the franchise is at the bottom of the standings again while the youth movement continues to grow, his days with the team may end. Even though he is 30, Gibson has a chance to be dealt to a contender who needs a reliable goalie who can stop many shots on a nightly basis. After this year, he’ll have three seasons left on his deal, which prevents future starter Lukas Dostal from taking over.

27 – New Jersey Devils

Vitek Vanecek$3.4 million282916-8-2.8863.420
Akira Schmid$850,83323155-7-1.8933.260
Nico Daws$850,8332383-5-0.8953.430

The New Jersey Devils were projected to be a Stanley Cup contender. However, goaltending and injuries have derailed their championship aspirations. Outside of losing star players like Jack Hughes and Dougie Hamilton, the Devils have yet to record a shutout this season, and anyone they start can’t stop 90% of the shots they face. As a team on the cusp of finding playoff success, they remain interested in upgrading their goalie situation, as their current skaters rank amongst the worst in the league.

26 – Montreal Canadiens

Jake Allen$3.85 million33175-9-3.9013.430
Samuel Montembeault$1 million262311-7-4.9053.100
Cayden Primeau$890,00024114-5-1.8993.360

The Montreal Canadiens continue to experience growing pains with their skaters and netminders. Although the team would love to continue to deploy a youth movement with Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau, they are still committed to Jake Allen, who is struggling to keep numbers worthy of a $3 million salary. Luckily, as the stars in the lineup continue to find their way, the future in Montreal is bright, and everything should come together simultaneously, leading to success unseen in the city for a very long time.

25 – Minnesota Wild

Filip Gustavsson$3.75 million252913-13-2.8963.282
Marc-André Fleury$3.5 million39238-9-3.8972.951
Jesper Wallstedt$925,0002110-1-0.7947.000

Last year, Filip Gustavsson was in the discussion for the Vezina Trophy, and this year, he stumbled through the regular season with mediocre numbers. Despite the Minnesota Wild firing their coach, the team has had few things to celebrate outside of Marc-Andre Fleury’s 553rd win, moving him to second place on the all-time wins list.

Filip Gustavsson Minnesota Wild
Filip Gustavsson, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Because of injuries to both starters at various points this year, Jesper Wallstedt made his NHL debut recently and got embarrassed in his only start. As the future of the position in Minnesota, he deserves a chance to come in and right the ship, but it appears there’s more tinkering to do before he becomes the team’s top goalie.

24 – Buffalo Sabres

Eric Comrie$1.8 million2871-5-0.8634.010
Devon Levi$925,00022209-7-2.8913.300
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen$837,500242612-11-2.9092.613

The Buffalo Sabres were another team projected to take a step forward and qualify for the playoffs, but that won’t happen this year. However, the franchise has run with two relatively young and unproven netminders, Devon Levi and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, who have shown regularly that they can be NHL goalies. Eventually, everything will come together for the Sabres, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if these two are a significant factor in the team’s future success.

23 – Nashville Predators

Juuse Saros$5 million284019-19-2.9032.942
Kevin Lankinen$2 million28146-4-0.8953.120
Yaroslav Askarov$925,0002121-0-9.9431.470

Juuse Saros is one of the top netminders in the world, finishing as a top ten Vezina Trophy finalist in the previous three seasons. However, 2023-24 has been one of his worst seasons as a professional, barely keeping the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference wildcard race. Once again, they are relying on Saros playing almost every night, which will most likely not lead to the playoff success they hope for with a tired and overworked goalie.

22 – Tampa Bay Lightning

Andrei Vasilevskiy$9.5 million292616-10-0.8992.852
Jonas Johansson*$775,000282210-6-5.8943.342
Matt Tomkins$775,0002931-2-0.8893.400

Andrei Vasilevskiy missed the season’s first two months, forcing Jonas Johansson to take over the starting duties. Despite their star player, Nikita Kucherov, being on pace to win the league’s scoring title, the Tampa Bay Lightning goalies are slowly regaining their form after a lackluster start. After an extended break, Vasilevskiy has finally found his game and is helping his team climb the standings to avoid being a wildcard team for the first time in a few years.

21 – Calgary Flames

Jacob Markström$6 million342914-13-2.9122.602
Daniel Vladar$2.2 million26167-7-2.8883.270
Dustin Wolf$813,3332251-2-1.8933.450

The Calgary Flames are on the verge of blowing up the roster and starting a rebuild. The team could be much better, which extends to the goalies, with Jacob Markstrom yet to regain the form that had him as a Vezina Trophy finalist just a few seasons ago. After missing some time with an injury, Dan Vladar and Dustin Wolf were thrown into the fire with mixed results.

Jacob Markstrom Calgary Flames
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Although Wolf is the goalie of the future, Calgary is tied to Markström for a few more seasons, preventing the team from going all in with a young netminder unless they find a way to move their current starter. Still, he’s not making it easy on management despite being the team’s MVP thus far.

20 – Detroit Red Wings

Ville Husso$4.75 million28189-5-2.8933.530
James Reimer*$1.5 million35144-6-2.8943.321
Alex Lyon$900,000312113-6-2.9222.512
Michael Hutchison$775,0003310-1-0.9173.110

The Detroit Red Wings have been one of the surprise teams this season and are in an excellent position to qualify for the playoffs. Although they continue to platoon several goalies, the bulk of the starts have come from Alex Lyon and Ville Husso, with James Reimer subbing in for the occasion start while covering for injuries. Despite none of these netminders possessing valuable playoff experience, if they can make the key saves and the offense does its job, the Red Wings could cause an upset or two in the postseason.

19 – New York Islanders

Ilya Sorokin$4 million283514-12-9.9093.172
Semyon Varlamov$2.75 million35166-5-3.9142.882
Kenneth Appleby$762,5002810-0-0.7506.000

Despite the New York Islanders relying on Ilya Sorokin to win them hockey games every night, he’s uncharacteristically having a bad season with unexpected numbers for a guy considered a Vezina Trophy candidate every season. Although Semyon Varlamov has been the veteran pushing the rookie to improve, he’s outperforming his teammates in key categories. Now that the Islanders are being led by one of the greatest netminders in NHL history, Patrick Roy, hopefully, this duo can snap out of their season funk and lead the team to the playoffs.

18 – Carolina Hurricanes

Frederik Andersen$3.4 million3464-1-0.8942.870
Pyotr Kochetkov$2 million242311-7-3.9002.581
Antti Raanta$1.5 million342312-7-2.8703.041
Spencer Martin*$762,50028133-8-1.8873.650
Yaniv Perets$805,0002310-0-01.0000.000

The Carolina Hurricanes were Stanley Cup favorites to begin the season. Still, as soon as Frederik Andersen went down with a potentially season-ending health concern, the team relied on anyone and everyone to play goalie.

Pyotr Kochetkov Carolina Hurricanes
Pyotr Kochetkov, Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Although this injury led to the emergence of Pyotr Kochetkov as the Hurricanes’ main guy, he also went down with a concussion, forcing the club to keep Antti Raanta despite putting him on waivers earlier in the season. Moreover, they acquired Martin as a stopgap measure, but without a bona fide NHL starter, Carolina could be in trouble in the postseason.

17 – Seattle Kraken

Philipp Grubauer$5.9 million32175-9-1.8843.250
Chris Driedger$3.5 million2921-1-0.9172.510
Joey Daccord$1.2 million273415-9-9.9212.322

The Seattle Kraken came within a game of the Western Conference Final in their second season. However, this year, the team has struggled to stay in the overly competitive Western Conference wildcard race, especially while dealing with injuries to Philipp Grubauer and Chris Driedger. Although that could sink any franchise, Joey Daccord has been given a chance to shine and hasn’t disappointed, picking up the first-ever Winter Classic shutout on Jan. 1.

16 – St. Louis Blues

Jordan Binnington$6 million303517-13-2.9082.922
Joel Hofer$775,00023189-8-0.9092.891

The St. Louis Blues fired their head coach and, since then, have climbed into a playoff spot. One of the main reasons the team has stayed competitive is because of Jordin Binnington and Joel Hofer. Even though neither goalie is amongst the league leaders in any category, they are effective at doing their job and letting the rest of the team step up to win games.

15 – Colorado Avalanche

Alexandar Georgiev$3.4 million274127-11-2.8982.912
Ivan Prosvetov$775,00024118-4-3.8953.160
Justus Annunen$775,0002311-0-0.9004.000

The Colorado Avalanche may be a top team in the NHL and contenders to repeat as Central Division champions. Still, their star goalie, Alexandar Georgiev, has a sub .900 save percentage, compiling a .898 mark after 40 games.

Alexandar Georgiev Colorado Avalanche
Alexandar Georgiev, Colorado Avalanche (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

As one of the workhorse netminders in the league, it will be interesting to see how the team protects him from exhaustion down the stretch so he can stay fresh for a potential shot at the Stanley Cup. Ultimately, the Avalanche’s chances of winning are slim without Georgiev in the net every night.

14 – Washington Capitals

Darcy Kuemper$5.25 million332411-11-2.8923.211
Charlie Lindgren$1.1 million30209-6-4.9162.592
Hunter Shepard$775,0002842-1-1.894.3190

The Washington Capitals acquired former Stanley Cup champion Darcy Kuemper, hoping he’d be the team’s star netminder. Although the results have been mediocre in a season and a half, he’s currently outplayed by Charlie Lindgren, who got snubbed out of an All-Star selection this season. Now, the Capital’s window as a Stanley Cup contender is all but over. While Alex Oveckin’s chase for the all-time goal record has slowed to a snail’s pace, they are about to enter a new era and will need younger goalies for that next stage.

13 – Toronto Maple Leafs

Ilya Samsonov$3.55 million26198-3-6.8783.362
Martin Jones$875,0034159-6-1.9112.642
Joseph Woll$766,66725158-5-1.9162.800

The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to end the NHL’s longest champion drought, about to reach 57 years. They re-signed Ilya Samsonov during the offseason, only to watch him implode to begin the season, getting sent down to the minors for conditioning. In his place, unproven Joseph Wolld stepped up and played admirably until he got injured, forcing 34-year-old Martin Jones to come in and save the season. Although it’s been goaltending by committee, Samsonov has been on fire since returning to the NHL and could be the savior the team has needed all season.

12 – Arizona Coyotes

Karel Vejmelka$2.725 million27206-11-2.8923.471
Connor Ingram$1.95 million263217-11-1.9162.615

The Arizona Coyotes are always in the news, not because of free-agent signings or blockbuster trades. Unfortunately, the team’s future is a dark cloud hanging over the on-ice product, which is improving each season. Although Karel Vejmelka and Connor Ingram are relatively unknown across the league, they continue to give the Coyotes solid goaltending every night, with Ingram amongst the league leaders in shutouts. Even though the club has dropped out of the playoff race, they are only missing a piece or two from being legitimate threats in the Western Conference.

11 – Philadelphia Flyers

Calvin Petersen$5 million2931-1-0.8893.380
Carter Hart$3.979 million252612-9-3.9062.801
Samuel Errson$859,167252512-9-3.8982.603

Although Carter Hart split the starting duties with Samuel Errson for the Philadelphia Flyers this season, he won’t be back, leaving the latter to handle the job independently. After acquiring Calvin Petersen in the offseason and inking him to the most expensive goalie contract on the team, he’s finally playing in the NHL after spending the entire season in the minors.

Samuel Ersson Philadelphia Flyers
Samuel Ersson, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

As a surprise team in the Eastern Conference, contending for a playoff spot and having an outsider’s shot at winning the Metropolitan Division, they will only achieve what Ersson can carry them to. Although he had comparable numbers to Hart, the Swedish netminder is making close to the league minimum, making him one of the best statistical goalies at that price.

10 – Dallas Stars

Jake Oettinger$4 million252816-9-2.9003.041
Scott Wedgewood$1 million312213-4-4.8992.980
Matt Murray$775,0002511-0-01.0000.001

Jake Oettinger is considered one of the best young goalies in the NHL today, yet he has had a subpar season based on previous campaigns. Luckily, the Dallas Stars had veteran Scott Wedgewood to rely upon when Oettinger missed time with an injury. Despite an impressive record, he’s recorded a .899 save percentage, which is not considered elite in today’s game. Thanks to a deep lineup, the Stars are still considered one of the top teams in contention for the Stanley Cup and should be fine when Oettinger regains his form in the second half.

9 – New York Rangers

Igor Shesterkin$5.66 million283219-12-1.8992.860
Jonathan Quick$825,000381710-4-2.9152.432
Louis Dominique$775,0003111-0-0.9621.000

The New York Rangers have been one of the best teams all season, not because Igor Shesterkin is on pace to win the Vezina Trophy, but because Jonathan Quick has exceeded expectations at 38. Usually, by now, Shesterkin is among the league leaders in every significant category. Still, he’s had more bad nights than good ones, allowing Quick to get more starts and turn back the clock a decade with outstanding numbers. However, the Rangers will only advance as far as Shesterkin carries them, and unless he shines down the stretch, this might not be the team’s year again.

8 – Los Angeles Kings

Pheonix Copley$1.5 million3284-1-2.8703.161
Cam Talbot$1 million363214-13-5.9112.592
David Rittich$875,00031115-1-3.9252.090

The Los Angeles Kings started the year on a tear but have fallen so far in the standings they are now a fringe playoff team, leading to the dismissal of their head coach. Between the pipes, Cam Talbot earned a selection in the All-Star Game despite being displaced recently by David Rittich as the go-to guy. As one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league, Talbot and Rittich are among the league leaders with the fewest goals-against, which isn’t a formula to win many hockey games.

7 – Vegas Golden Knights

Adin Hill$4.9 million271712-2-2.9361.942
Logan Thompson$766,667263116-10-4.9062.770
Jiři Patera$775,0002454-1-3.9013.750

Adin Hill is statistically the best netminder in the NHL today despite missing a chunk of the season with an injury. Logan Thompson stepped up and held down the fort in his place, but the Vegas Golden Knights haven’t been the top team all season long. Injuries and inconsistency have hurt them, but they remain in a great position to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, especially with Hill back between the pipes. Although many outsiders don’t believe he’s a front-runner for the Vezina, the race would be over if he keeps up his pace in the second half.

6 – Edmonton Oilers

Jack Campbell$5 million3251-4-0.8734.500
Stuart Skinner$2.6 million253423-9-1.9102.440
Calvin Pickard$762,5003185-2-0.9152.341

After a rough start to his career with the Edmonton Oilers, the team demoted Jack Campbell to the minors and gave the crease to Stuart Skinner, who plays just about every night. Although the Oilers were one of the worst teams to begin the season, they are the hottest team since a coaching change in November.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Meanwhile, Skinner is a significant part of the resurgence and could be a dark horse to win the Vezina Trophy. However, his story is cautionary since he’s reliable enough to skate in every game. He could be worn out by the playoffs, resulting in another year without Connor McDavid winning the Stanley Cup.

5 – Pittsburgh Penguins

Tristan Jarry$5.375 million283213-14-4.9132.525
Alex Nedeljkovic*$1.5 million28168-3-3.9182.601
Magnus Hellberg$785,0003231-1-0.9222.500

Many people will question why the Pittsburgh Penguins rank so high on the list despite being so far out of the playoff picture. Based on statistics, the duo of Tristan Jarry and Alex Nedeljkovic are not the issues with the team; instead, they are one of their strongest assets. Right now, Jarry is tied for the most shutouts in the league and ranks amongst the top 10 in goals against average amongst netminders who played at least 20 games. Meanwhile, Nedeljkovic is 15th overall in save percentage amongst all goalies. Unfortunately, the Penguins’ window for contention is closing faster than expected, but going another year without a title is not because of subpar goaltending.

4 – Florida Panthers

Sergei Bobrovsky$10 million353623-10-2.9102.512
Anthony Stolarz$962,50030158-4-2.9162.110

The Florida Panthers were a surprise Stanley Cup contender last season, losing to the Golden Knights in Game 5 of the Final. Surprisingly, the Panthers are better this season and will not be a wildcard team but a potential division winner. Despite not being in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy, Sergei Bobrovsky has found his form again, steering Florida toward a top spot in the Atlantic Division. When he’s on his game, he is one of the best in the league, and that could be why this year’s team finishes the story from last year.

3 – Winnipeg Jets

Connor Hellebuyck$6.16 million303523-9-3.9242.202
Laurent Brossoit$1.75 million30127-3-2.9262.070

The Winnipeg Jets achieved two franchise firsts this season; one was compiling a nine-game win streak and then ranking first in the NHL standings. Interestingly, the fanbase was worried they wouldn’t re-sign Connor Hellbuyck, but he agreed to stay, and now management continues to build a contender in front of him. Of course, he plays almost every game, and although a trend that has led to one lengthy playoff run, this year could be the exception. No matter what happens in the second half, Hellebuyck will be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the fifth time in the past eight years.

2 – Boston Bruins

Linus Ullmark$5 million302416-3-7.9172.780
Jeremy Swayman$3.475 million252715-6-2.9242.303

It is almost unfair how lucky the Boston Bruins have been with Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman between the pipes. After running away with the Vezina Trophy last season, Ullmark has seen his bear-hugging partner have the better numbers this season, leading to several discussions that Swayman could be the one who keeps the award in Boston this year.

Linus Ullmark Jeremy Swayman Boston Bruins
Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Realistically, the Bruins were not supposed to be a top team in the NHL this year after losing so many key players in the offseason. But as the old saying goes, defense wins championships, and Boston has been blessed with two of the game’s best netminders, which makes everyone else’s job easier. Knowing that the last line of defense is solid, there’s no panic if a player gets off an excellent scoring chance because Ullmark and Swayman have been there to make the stops for the past two seasons.

1 – Vancouver Canucks

Thatcher Demko$5 million283526-8-1.9202.445
Casey DeSmith$1.8 million32157-3-4.9092.651

The Vancouver Canucks could be considered a surprise team this year because not only are they going to qualify for the playoffs after missing last year, they are one of the favorites to win the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s best team. Besides employing four skaters who rank among the top 20 in league scoring, Thatcher Demko has finally established himself as a top guy, with impressive numbers in all categories. As one of the top teams in the Western Conference, it would be fun to watch Demko face Hellebuyck in the Conference Final as the Canucks look like they could win their first Stanley Cup title.

What Do You Think?

Ultimately, there is no way to please everyone regarding rankings. Whether people think their team is undervalued or their final position provides them with bragging rights, there is rarely any middle ground among the different fanbases. Furthermore, today’s rankings were based solely on what these netminders achieved in half a season and how their numbers stack up against one another heading into the stretch drive.

Related: Ranking the NHL’s 32 Starting Goalies – Midseason Update

Of course, you can disagree and point out flaws in the math, but these rankings are meant to be fun and engage people to get them talking about hockey again. As always, people are entitled to their opinions, making us the greatest fans in professional sports.

Statistics were obtained from Hockey Reference and contract details from Cap Friendly.