These tier posts breakdown our positional rankings to help you better understand who you should be targeting in your fantasy draft and when you should be going after them. Here are our top goaltenders for the 2018-19 season, starting with tiers 1-3. You can find the rest of our positional tiers here:
- Centre, Tiers 1-5
- Centre, Tiers 6-9
- Right Wing, Tiers 1-5
- Right Wing, Tiers 6-9
- Left Wing, Tiers 1-5
- Left Wing, Tiers 6-9
- Defense, Tiers 1-5
- Defense, Tiers 6-9
Andrei Vasilevskiy (TBL), Braden Holtby (WSH), Sergei Bobrovsky (CBJ), Connor Hellebuyck (WPG)
Vasilevskiy led all goalies last year with 44 wins and 8 shutouts. He played 65 games for the Lighting and should continue to see sky-high usage in 2018-19. For a position riddled with uncertainty, Vasilevskiy is the safest bet you can make on draft day. Holtby did his best to make us forget about his sub-pair performance in the 2017-18 regular season, posting a .922 SV% and 2.16 GAA in the playoffs. After forfeiting the starting job to Philipp Grubauer, Holtby regained control of the Capitals’ crease in game 3 of the first round and never looked back. With Grubauer gone, Holtby should get back to seeing 60 plus starts a season on a very good Capitals team. His .907 SV% in 2017-18 keeps him from grabbing the number one spot in our goalie rankings. People don’t forget.
Bobrovsky turned in another impressive season in 2017-18, posting a .921 SV% and a 2.42 GAA in 65 starts for the Blue Jackets. With a career .930 even strength SV% and no one to threaten him for playing time, Bobrovsky deserves to be one of the first three or four goalies off the board on draft day. Hellebuyck was phenomenal in his second season as the Jets’ starter, putting up a .924 SV% and a 2.36 GAA in a league-high 67 starts. He tied Vasilevskiy for the league lead in wins (44) despite having a league-high nine overtime/shootout losses. Combined with his impressive play, his job security on a contending team is enough to earn him the last spot in our top tier of goalies.
Tuukka Rask (BOS), Jonathan Quick (LAK), John Gibson (ANA), Pekka Rinne (NSH)
After logging four consecutive seasons with at least a .920 SV% from 2011-12 to 2014-15, Rask failed to top that mark for the third straight year in 2017-18. His .917 SV% was still above average, however, and playing for the possession-dominant Bruins helped him keep his GAA at a tidy 2.36. He’s not the elite goalie he once was, but he’ll put up formidable numbers so long as he plays for the Bruins. Draft him with confidence. Quick had a standout year in 2017-18, posting his best SV% (.921) since the 2011-12 season (.929). Unfortunately, a rise in the Kings’ shots against actually resulted in a slight uptick of his GAA, finishing at 2.40. His numbers could inflate if the Kings don’t tighten up at 5v5, but his consistency still makes him a lock for our second tier.
Gibson continued to improve in 2017-18, posting a career-high .926 SV% in 60 starts. The Ducks seem to be stagnating as a franchise, and that combined with the presence of Ryan Miller makes it unlikely for Gibson to break 35 wins this year. The 25-year old offers tremendous upside and is on the verge of becoming an elite goaltender. Rinne was one of the biggest surprises of the fantasy season last year, posting a .927 SV% at 35 years old. Rinne couldn’t ask for a better team in front of him, but he should continue to concede starts to Juuse Saros as he grows older. A lack of job security and inconsistency in the past stop him from joining our top tier.
Frederik Andersen (TOR), Matt Murray (PIT), Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK), Devan Dubnyk (MIN), Martin Jones (SJS), Ben Bishop (DAL)
Andersen started 66 games for the second straight year in 2017-18, posting a .918 SV% and 2.81 GAA. He was in excellent form for most of the year but struggled to close out the regular season. He lacks the consistency of the guys ranked above him, but his workload and the team in front of him are too good to ignore. After posting a .923 SV% in his first full season in 2016-17, Murray could muster only a .907 SV% and 2.92 GAA in 2017-18. Despite the poor form and injuries limiting him to just 45 starts, Murray was still able to log 27 wins last season. Playing for the Penguins means he could be a steal if he can work through the struggles that plagued his performance last year.
Fleury enjoyed a renaissance of sorts in his first season in Vegas, posting a remarkable .927 SV% and 2.24 GAA. Injuries limited the 33-year old to just 46 starts last season and, given his history, could be a factor again in 2018-19. The presence of backup Malcolm Subban adds another threat to Fleury’s workload. Dubnyk is a marvel of consistency in the most volatile of positions. Assuming a clean bill of health, he is a lock for 30 wins this year and has the potential to hit 40.
Jones is a notable outlier in this tier of goalies, having never posted a SV% above .920 over a full season. Still, he is consistently in the .915 range and should flirt with 65 starts on a good Sharks team. There is a degree of certainty in his game that is hard to find in fantasy netminders. Injuries have hampered Bishop the last two years, limiting him to just 88 starts and 44 wins since the start of the 2016-17 season. He should be fully healed from the knee injury that cut his 2017-18 short, but lacks the upside to justify a higher ranking.