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2021-2022 Fantasy Hockey Goalie Rankings

Goalies are the worst.  We speculate on which ones will hold the net all year and which will give us the ratios we need.  In many leagues, one or two netminders impact our outcomes nearly as much as a dozen star skaters do.  Yet every year an errant tip here and a bad bounce there thwart our hopes and leaves us with a save percentage starting with the dreaded “8.”  You cannot quit them, so make educated choices on your own 2021 fantasy hockey goalie rankings.  Then watch waivers like a hawk for six months.

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2021 Fantasy Hockey Goalie Rankings

Good team, good health, good track record, guaranteed role

Can we call what we look for the ‘four Gs?’  Precious few goalies check all the boxes we look for.  The staff ranked Andrei Vasilevskiy 1st (unanimously) and Connor Hellebuyck 3rd.  They are perhaps the safest options at an unsafe position.  If any goalies are locks to lead a playoff team, get the bulk of starts, and put up great results, they are these two.

Three of four ain’t bad

Our unanimous 2nd place goalie, Robin Lehner, was also supposed to be the 2nd place goalie last year.  He put a great record with above-average percentages.  Keep in mind Lehner missed five weeks from a concussion last year.  Marc-Andre Fleury, who was supposed to take a backseat, took advantage of the opening and won a Vezina Trophy.  With Fleury gone and Lehner healthy on an awesome Vegas club, everything seems lined up for the dominant season we have all been waiting for from Lehner.

Some see Darcy Kuemper as a darkhorse best overall goalie this year, but he comes in at fourth in our fantasy hockey goalie rankings because his health and the presence of a competent backup mitigates his new role in stacked Colorado.  Fleury’s stellar 2020-21 keeps in fifth, but his new Chicago team will be a tougher place to shine than Vegas.  Likewise, Philipp Grubauer in expansion Seattle and Igor Shesterkin on the New York Rangers lead teams who may surprise this year but more likely will hurt their numbers.  Juuse Saros finally has a net to himself with Pekka Rinne’s retirement but has been inconsistent over the years.

Fittingly, the outstanding Islanders tandem of Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov are tied for 9th.  If one of the two were guaranteed a full workload they would rise much higher in the rankings.  Jordan Binnington and Thatcher Demko round out the top 12 as goalies whose performances have seen ups and downs but who own the net on reasonably good teams.

Staff Civil Wars

The staff did not agree on several goalies.  I ranked Linus Ullmark outside the top 25 while others put him in the top 10.  The transplant from an awful Buffalo team to an excellent Boston team has the contract and underlying numbers to suggest a breakout season.  I fear a sketchy health history and two other goalies (Jeremy Swayman and injured Tuukka Rask) stealing starts.  Victor and I liked Tristen Jarry as an expected #1 on a good team.  Brennan and Ian saw Jarry’s poor performances of last year and looked elsewhere.  Victor and Ian are low on Calgary multi-millionaire Jacob Markstrom while Brennen and I see another player whose has a little of all four of the Gs, making him a mid-tier selection.  Ian and Victor are high on Ilya Samsonov as a solid second goalie in 12 team league.  Brennan and I are lower on him.

Sneaky values

Toronto fans who watched the last two years of Frederik Andersen may doubt his #14 ranking, but the staff is behind a veteran goalie in a new home – shot-suppressing Carolina.  Our podcast cult favorite Cal Petersen comes in at #20 with Victor and me leading the parade.  Even on a Kings roster a year or two from an expected breakthrough Petersen could put up a great statistical year.   Finally, at an average of #13, all four of us gamble on a 20-year-old goalie with 3 career regular-season starts, Spencer Knight.  He is going to have to be so good this year that his team keeps a goalie being paid $10 million dollars a year for the next five years on the bench.  It should tell you something that all of us think it could happen.

If you want to listen to me talk about these players every week, listen to Fantrax’s podcast Fantasy Hockey Life.  Victor Nuno and I cover prospects and the pros.  Listen to our offseason previews for all 32 NHL teams.  Follow me on Twitter at @fanhockeylife.  You can also join our free discord to talk hockey all year.

Cons. RnkPlayerTeamSevereNuñoKlakWhamond
1 Andrei VasilevskiyTBL1111
2 Robin LehnerVGK2222
3 Connor HellebuyckWPG3434
4 Darcy KuemperCOL17343
5 Marc-Andre FleuryCHI65107
6Igor ShesterkinNYR41196
7 Juuse SarosNSH76514
8 Philipp GrubauerSEA8141411
9 Ilya SorokinNYI229118
10Semyon VarlamovNYI1222125
11 Jordan BinningtonSTL523621
12 Thatcher DemkoVAN14151315
13 Spencer KnightFLA1916159
14 Frederik AndersenCAR10202010
15 Jack CampbellTOR18131616
16 Linus UllmarkBOS2810719
17 Carey PriceMTL13181917
18 Tristan JarryPIT972730
19 Jacob MarkstromCGY1127829
20 Cal PetersenLAK1682132
21 Ilya SamsonovWSH20173013
22 Cam TalbotMIN30192312
23Carter HartPHI15261727
24Mike SmithEDM24NR22NR
25 Jeremy SwaymanBOS29212523
26 Petr MrazekTOR25253118
27 Vitek VanecekWSH31243522
28 Jake OettingerDAL36351825
29 Kevin LankinenCHI3731NR20
30 Alex NedeljkovicDET27303428
31 Mackenzie BlackwoodNJD32283624
31 Ben BishopDALNR332433
31 Elvis MerzlikinsCBJ21372636
34 Pavel FrancouzCOL33123938
35 Sergei BobrovskyFLA3829NR26
35 Kaapo KahkonenMIN23323831
37Casey DeSmithPITNRNR32NR
38 John GibsonANA26382937
39Adin HillSJS39NR28NR
39Anton KhudobinDAL34NR33NR
41 Chris DriedgerSEA3534NR34
42Filip GustavssonOTTNRNR37NR
43 Jaroslav HalakVAN40364035

Do you have an interesting Fantasy Hockey trade dilemma?  Leave it in the comments and we would love to hear it.

For more help in getting ready for next season, check out the Top 10 Fantasy Hockey Rookies of 2021.

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  1. Jeff Seymour says

    A fellow poolie is trying to convince me to trade Spencer Knight, and Adam Fox, as well as either martinez, spurgeon or morrisey, for Cal Petersen and Ryan Pulock…..

    I’m telling him he’s smokin’ something mighty good to suugest that trade.

    Your thought ?

    1. Jesse Severe says

      Yeah, that’s not a great start to an offer. He must be hoping you are all in on our podcast’s love of Cal. Redraft it is a little bit closer than dynasty, but you definitely should not be giving up so much.

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