Writing the 2022-2023 Fantasy Hockey Goalie Rankings is an exciting exercise filled with hair tugging and screaming at my computer screen, “I don’t know where the break is in this tier!” Same for the course, I guess, because all rankings have an inherent argument built into them.
Well, except #1.
The very first thing I did when I started writing about fantasy hockey was practice spelling “Andrei Vasilevskiy”. That “iy” combo at the end threw me for a loop at first, and I was tired of looking for him every time I had to write an article about him… which was often enough, as it would be for the consensus No. 1 goaltender in hockey.
While pundits can argue about every other position – even if taking on Connor McDavid as the best center takes some trial and error and some mental gymnastics somersaults – the best goalkeeper argument seems pretty debatable. Vailevskiy, the 27-year-old Russian, has a .921 career save percentage and a 2.36 GAA, and came within two wins of giving the Tampa Bay Lightning their third consecutive Stanley Cup.
Indeed, the best argument is simply whether or not it is at level 1 alone.
Look, nobody really wants to think about goalies in fantasy hockey. They are to the game what catchers are to baseball. Five or six will be powerful contributors, five to ten will be usable, and the rest will be entirely match-dependent or not registerable. Strong options will cost you a high pick when so many strong skater options are still on the board and much more attractive.
Can you build a successful fantasy team from the inside out? Sure. Is it easy? Goodness no.
Before the draft starts, make sure you know how many goaltenders your league has, how many can start, and what the minimum number of starts per week/season is. With that, here’s our 2022-23 pre-season ranking of the NHL’s Greatest Goaltenders.
Check out our 2022-2023 Fantasy Hockey Forwards Ranking
Fantasy Hockey Goaltending Rankings 2022-2023
Level 1: Set, Forget, No Regret
1) Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning)
2) Igor Shesterkin (New York Rangers)
As we discussed above, Vasilevskiy emerges at the top of this list as the excellent option year after year. However, last year’s Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin deserves Tier 1 treatment, even without the same length of background as Vasilevskiy. Shesterkin’s 2021-22 season showcased just how dominant he can be, finishing with a 2.07 GAA and an otherworldly .933 save percentage. Fantasy managers can expect a bit of regression for the 26-year-old, but they won’t be on trial for removing him as their first goalkeeper either.
Level 2: Choose a guy, any guy
3) Ilya Sorokin (New York Islanders)
4) Connor Hellebuyck (Winnipeg Jets)
5) Juuse Saros (Nashville Predators)
6) Tristan Jarry (Pittsburgh Penguins)
7) Jacob Markstrom (Calgary Flames)
8) Sergei Bobrovsky (Florida Predators)
9) Frederik Andersen (Carolina Hurricanes)
10) Jake Oettinger (Dallas Stars)
Although this is my favorite ranking, you can put these eight guys in a ping pong ball machine and order them as they come out. The presence of Semyon Varlamov often diminishes Sorokin’s value, but that doesn’t make him a worse keeper. His 29.8 above-average saved goals finished second to Shesterkin, and all fantasy teams could benefit from his 2.40 GAA and .923 save percentage.
Connor Hellebuyck is the face of the “over-drafted goalies who burned you in 2021,” but he should bounce back nicely for this season.
Juuse Saros and Tristan Jarry are the undisputed workhorses of their teams, while Jacob Markstrom and Sergei Bobrovsky are expected to rack up wins with the teams around them. Frederik Andersen is still dominant and worthy of being a No.1 goalkeeper, but fantastic managers need to have a back-up plan with his injury history.
Jake Oettinger goes exceptionally high – I’ve seen him go as high as goalkeeper 3 – which makes sense in goalkeeper/dynasty leagues, but beware of the price hike he gets due to his dominating playoffs (1.81 GAA/.954 save percentage) compared to his regular season (2.53 GAA/.914 save percentage).
Level 3: Attention all “floor” writers
11) Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks)
12) Jeremy Swayman (Boston Bruins)
13) Jack Campbell (Edmonton Oilers)
14) Darcy Kuemper (Washington Capitals)
15) Marc-Andre Fleury (Minnesota Wild)
15b) Elvis Merzlikins (Columbus Blue Jackets)*
Fantasy players are often labeled as having a “high ceiling” or “solid ground”, which is just how fantasy analysts say “sexy and risque” or “booooooooooooring”. Tier three offers goalkeeper ratings based on the idea of having a “solid floor”. While Jeremy Swayman could have a high ceiling, Linus Ullmark’s presence puts it squarely back in ground territory. Thatcher Demko should be better than he was last year, but the Canucks remain in uncharted territory after being disappointing last season, which is impacting his production.
Jack Campbell, Darcy Kuemper and Marc-André Fleury are the oldest statesmen on the list. They won’t shine or compete for the Vezina, but they shouldn’t burn you out too often. Do not reach beyond their ADP.
*Author’s note: The original ranking left out Elvis Merzlikins for no reason other than a problem between my ranking page and the writing of the article. My excuses. I ranked him 15th overall and I see him as a strong ground goalkeeper heading into the season.
Level Four: Dart Throws
16) Spencer Knight (Florida Panthers)
17) RAdm Talbot (Ottawa Senators)
18) Carter Hart (Philadelphia Flyers)
19) John Gibson (Anaheim Ducks)
20) Jordan Bennington (St. Louis Blues)
21) Ville Husso (Detroit Red Wings)
22) Karel Vejmelka (Arizona Coyotes)
23) Cal Petersen (Los Angeles Kings)
24) Vitek Vanecek (New Jersey Devils)
This is where the 2022-23 goalkeeper rankings require more prediction than historical reasoning. Every player at this level has a lot of positives and a lot of questions. We’re not sure about the squad composition or how the new coaches will approach their roles. But there’s something to love about each of them, though each should only serve as 2 or 3 goalkeepers on your list.
Level Five: Streamers
25) Alex Nedeljkovic (Detroit Red Wings)
26) Ilya Samsonov (Toronto Maple Leafs)
27) Kaapo Kahkonen (San Jose Sharks)
28) Matt Murray (Toronto Maple Leafs)
29) Daniel Vladar (Calgary Flames)
30) Semyon Varlamov (New York Islands)
31) Linus Ullmark (Boston Bruins)
32) Alexandar Georgiev (Colorado Avalanche)
33) Anton Forsberg (Detroit Red Wings)
34) Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Buffalo Sabers)
35) Magnus Hellberg (Seattle Kraken)
36) Yaroslav Askarov (Nashville Predators)
37) Logan Thompson (Vegas Golden Knights)
38) James Reimer (San Jose Sharks)
39) Pavel Francouz (Colorado Avalanche)
40) Philipp Grubauer (Seattle Kraken)
You will see goalkeepers of this level in our weekly list of goalkeepers for favorable matches in which you might consider streaming them. Otherwise, I would stay away from this group.
Happy writing everyone! If you want to chat or chat with me about my ranking using only GIFs, hit me up on Twitter at @thewonkypenguin. And, as always, good luck!
Goalkeeper rankings were based on wins, losses, GAA, save percentage, and team status.
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