Stylin’ and Profilin’: Today’s Most Creative NHL Goalie Pads

With today’s technology and manufacturers’ willingness to push the envelope, goalie equipment has become a canvas frequently styled in a manner that would warrant a “WOOOO!” from the ever-fashionable Ric Flair. More now than ever before, usually quiet and reserved goalies have the ability to show off some of their personality through their pads. Some even host design contests to “build” the most visually appealing pads through online customizers or traditional design tools.

In addition, there’s now a product that allows goaltenders to customize their pads after they’ve been purchased: Padskinz, which is perfect for goaltenders like Mike McKenna, who recently moved from the Ottawa Senators to the Vancouver Canucks to the Philadelphia Flyers over the course of a few days. But which netminder’s colorful setup is the best of them all? Let’s dive into the most creative goalie pads in the NHL.

Related: 2017-18 Goalie Pad Rankings

Note: Helmets are excluded from the rankings since all goalies have personalized buckets. Only leg pads, gloves and blockers are considered.

Honorable Mention: Anders Nilsson

Recently acquired by the Senators, Anders Nilsson’s new pads look amazing:

10. Jaroslav Halak – Boston Bruins

  • 2017-18 Rank: NR

New to Beantown, Jaroslav Halak has always sported unique Brian’s pads. This season is different, though – his pads make sense now.

Boston Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak.
Jaroslav Halak has been a nice add so far for the Boston Bruins. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

The scratch marks design on Halak’s Brian’s G-Netik Pro IV setup fits with the Bruins nickname. That was not the case last season, when we wore similar pads with the New York Islanders. A bear, or bruin, scratching through seems a lot more likely of a scenario than fish hooks tearing through a sail or whatever he was going for with the Islanders.

9. Jimmy Howard – Detroit Red Wings

  • 2017-18 Rank: 6

Still rocking his trademark Vaughn equipment, All-Star Jimmy Howard has been the backbone of the Red Wings this season. His Vaughn SLR Ventus gear is pretty nice to look at, too.

Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings.
How long can Jimmy Howard support Detroit’s poor defense? (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Primarily red, each piece of Howard’s pads features three white vertical stripes, plus white outside side panels on the leg pads, which blend well with the white stripes on Red Wings pants. Going mostly red is a new style preference for Howard, who wore primarily white pads early in his career.

Related: Top 3 All-Time Red Wings Goalies

8. Craig Anderson – Ottawa Senators

  • 2017-18 Rank: NR

Also rocking Brian’s G-Netik Pro IV equipment, Craig Anderson’s color scheme is definitely an eye-grabber. The red “veins” coursing through the pads are an intriguing concept. In addition, the combination of black, gold and red in their respective places on the pads make each color stand out.

Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson
Like Jimmy Howard in Detroit, Craig Anderson could benefit from better team defense in front of him in Ottawa. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Before switching to Brian’s, Anderson previously wore Sherwood and TPS gear and has generally opted for mostly white pads throughout his career.

7. Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

  • 2017-18 Rank: 8

When Carey Price is wearing his all-red pads and home jersey, he should try to stay away from bull fighting events. That’s a lot of red on the Canadiens netminder.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price
When wearing his red pads, Carey Price has been outstanding for the Canadiens. (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)

Price’s CCM Extreme Flex III pads feature blue lettering and white threading throughout, with the latter being a unique design aesthetic not normally employed by goalies. The pads look particularly slick with Montreal’s away jerseys and blue pants – they’re bold and clearly stand out.

6. Marc-Andre Fleury – Vegas Golden Knights

  • 2017-18 Rank: NR

Back in his early days, Marc-Andre Fleury was known for his all-yellow pads with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Minus a few games in throwback gear, the netminder has sported relatively tame equipment since then. But this season, Fleury debuted beautiful all-gold pads with the Golden Knights.

Vegas Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury Dallas Stars Martin Hanzal
Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes a save as Dallas Stars center Martin Hanzal looks for a rebound. (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Looking like C3-PO in net, Fleury’s gold setup pairs well with Vegas’ home jerseys and color scheme. Seriously, what could be more “Vegas” than an all-gold get-up?

5. Scott Darling – Carolina Hurricanes

  • 2017-18 Rank: 2

Between his normal set of pads and the gear he wore on Whalers Night, Scott Darling has shared some great looks this season. Goaltending partner Petr Mrazek designed some fantastic Whalers pads as well for the special occasion.

Hurricanes goaltender Scott Darling
A few too many goals have squeaked by Scott Darling, prompting a timeshare with Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

As you might have guessed, Darling is a Brian’s client and presently uses their G-Netik Pro IV line. The netminder has typically been creative with his equipment since reaching the NHL with the Blackhawks and even donned an impressive setup at the 2018 World Championships.

4. Collin Delia – Chicago Blackhawks

  • 2017-18 Rank: NR

If you’re going to sport retro pads, you have to do it right. The Blackhawks’ Collin Delia customized his throwback pads perfectly for this year’s Winter Classic. In fact, both he and goalie partner Cam Ward got some recognition for their fashion sense:

Delia has usually worn creative pads throughout his career, so it shouldn’t have come as a shock when the colorful goalie wanted to look sharp for the annual outdoor game. Luckily for Delia, his equipment provider, Brian’s, is known for great custom gear.

3. Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers

  • 2017-18 Rank: 3

New York’s long-time goalie has always been fashionable, but his “Statue of Liberty” pads are top-notch. (No, not Patrick Roy’s Statue of Liberty.) Plus, the equipment subtly features New York’s skyline on each piece of equipment, just like his 2018 Winter Classic gear.

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist and his fashion have been constants for a changing Rangers team. (AP Photo/Howard Simmons)

Unlike the other goalies on this list, Henrik Lundqvist is a Bauer client. His Bauer Supreme 2S pads certainly look slick with their custom design.

2. Mike Smith – Calgary Flames

  • 2017-18 Rank: 1

Once again, Mike Smith is showcasing some appealing equipment in net for the Flames. His throwback gear, complete with a helmet paying tribute to long-time Flames goalie Mike Vernon, is fantastic.

Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Smith
Mike Vern…Smith in net for the Flames. (Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Smith’s CCM Premier II pads have great yellow accents, including the outside side panels, lettering and threading on the front. In all, the proportions of red, yellow and white match Calgary’s throwback pants and jersey perfectly.

1. Antti Raanta – Arizona Coyotes

  • 2017-18 Rank: NR

Are you surprised to see a goalie sporting Brian’s pads at the top of this list? You shouldn’t, as Raanta and the equipment manufacturer put together a brilliant setup for Arizona’s throwback Kachina uniforms.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta
Can the Arizona Coyotes wear these jerseys for all home games? (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

Like several other goalies on this list, Raanta wears Brian’s G-Netik Pro IV pads. His gear, however, has an incredible amount of detail stitched in. Raanta’s glove, for example, features the Kachina design, plus forest green lacing and maroon trim around the outside of the catching area. The leg pads, though, are the focal point, looking very slick when paired with the outstanding third jerseys.

Which NHL goalie has the best pads? Share your thoughts below.