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Goalie

It has been a while since our last posting, but it’s time to dig into the top goalies for the upcoming 2021 season. I am going to present to you the goalies in ascending order.

  1. Andrei Vasilevskiy - GoalieAndrei Vasilevskiy - Vasi is the undisputed goalie king in 2021. He is coming off his first Stanley Cup Championship, and was/is an integral part of the Lightning heading into this year. He is often streaky throughout the year, but there aren’t many goalies that can year in and year out win 10 straight games. Russia in recent years has cemented itself as the top producer of young goalies and Vasi is really the one that started this trend, At just 26 years old, he is still well within his prime, and he should have another big year this year.
  2. Connor Hellebuyuk - One of the most impressive things about Hellebuyuk’s 2019-20 Vezina campaign was just how poor the defense was in front of him. He faced nearly 30 shots per night and stopped 92% of them. Winnipeg has made no defensive changes in the last year, so if Winnipeg has any hope of making a run this year, they will need Hellebuyuk in top form. He has the ability to be a top-five goalie in the NHL for a few more years to come.
  3. Carey Price - Carey Price has been one of the best goalies in the NHL for ten years now. Sometimes, being as good as Price has been for as long as he has been, leads people to overlook just how good he is today(agism in sports is a funny thing). That being said, there are reasons to be optimistic that we could see the best statistical season we have seen from Price in years. The biggest reason is that he will likely play less, with the addition of Jake Allen. Price hasn’t had a league-average backup basically since he started being the full-time goalie for the Canadians. Jake Allen is more than that so in a shortened season, Price might only play 60 percent of the games, which means there are no reasons to expect burnout from him.
  4. Robin Lehner - Once upon a time, Lehner was a top goalie prospect before making his debut in Ottawa. The expectations for Lehner were high, but early in his career, he was never able to live up to them. Since the 2018-19 season when he played for the Islanders, everything turned around for him, and he hasn’t looked back since. He has now supplanted Marc-Andre Fleury in Vegas, after putting up a great season in Chicago playing behind a team that played nearly no defense. With one of the most talented teams in the NHL Infront of him now, I expect we will see a Vezina campaign from Lehner in 2021 as he further cements himself as one of the best goalies in the NHL.
  5. Tuukka Rask - It’s hard to imagine sometimes that the Bruins acquired Rask from Toronto for Andrew Raycroft so many years ago. Sure, Raycroft won the Calder trophy, but when you compare the two goalies’ careers, it really isn’t close. Heading into this year, I expect that Rask will play like he has something to prove. Bruins fans were not happy that he opted out of the Stanley Cup playoffs to be home with a sick child, and this is also expected to be the last year of Rask’s career. Rask much like Price, will likely only see 60% of the starts for the Bruins, but I expect the quality of those starts to be outstanding. The Bruins have also been aided by the late start, as they won’t be missing David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand or as long, so you should see a good amount of win totals from Rask again this year.

Here is who the folks at the NHL Network think the top goalies in the league are.