10. Anton Khudobin, Dallas Stars
Among NHL goalies who played at least 20 games last season, Khudobin was first in save percentage (.930) and tied with Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes for third in goals-against average (2.22). He was 16-8-4 in 30 games and allowed two goals or fewer in 16 of his 26 starts. He helped the Stars reach the Stanley Cup Final, going 14-10 with a 2.69 GAA and a .917 save percentage in 25 Stanley Cup Playoff games (24 starts). Khudobin, who signed a three-year contract with the Stars on Oct. 9, has a .926 save percentage the past two seasons, tied with Kuemper for second among NHL goalies to play at least 10 games, behind Stars teammate Ben Bishop (.927).
“He doesn’t sit back and be passive, he’ll get out on top of the crease and obviously his flexibility is next to none,” NHL Network analyst Darren Pang said. “…The guy is incredibly flexible, well liked, revered by his teammates, and what he did in the playoffs, I don’t think it’s an aberration.”
9. Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames
Markstrom was 23-16-4 with a 2.75 GAA, a .918 save percentage and two shutouts in 43 games (43 starts) last season to help the Vancouver Canucks reach the postseason for the first time since 2015. He was 5-0-3 with a 2.42 GAA and a .921 save percentage in eight games from Oct. 9-Nov. 5, and then went 6-0-0 with a 2.49 GAA and a .932 save percentage from Dec. 19-Jan. 4. Markstrom was 8-6 with a 2.85 GAA, a .919 save percentage and one shutout in 14 playoff games to help Vancouver get within one win of the Western Conference Final. He signed a six-year contract with the Flames on Oct. 9.
“What I’ve liked is his development and his athleticism and he’s become more of an unpredictable goaltender certainly for the shooter,” Pang said. “I was really impressed with some of the saves he made with his glove.”
8. Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights
Lehner was 3-0-0 with a 1.67 GAA, a .940 save percentage and one shutout for the Golden Knights after being acquired in a trade Feb. 24. Prior to that, he was 16-10-5 with a 3.01 GAA and a .918 save percentage in 33 games (31 starts) for the Chicago Blackhawks. Lehner helped the Golden Knights reach the Western Conference Final, going 9-7 with a 1.99 GAA, a .917 save percentage and four shutouts in 16 games (16 starts). Lehner signed a five-year contract to remain with Vegas on Oct. 3.
“He battles like crazy and a lot of times, he’s not exactly in great position,” Pang said. “He’s out of his crease, he scrambles a lot, but he never gives up on it. … He reaches out and covers so much ground. There are so many times where he just flat out makes it look easy and other times where he really has to work hard and stretch out and make saves that are just absolutely spectacular, game breakers.”
7. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes
Kuemper was third in save percentage (.928) and tied with Khudobin for third in GAA (2.22) among NHL goalies who played at least 20 games last season. Limited to 29 games (29 starts) because of injury, he was 16-11-2 with two shutouts and helped the Coyotes advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. He went 4-5 with a 3.47 GAA and a .913 save percentage in nine postseason games. Kuemper is 43-31-10 with seven shutouts in 84 games (84 starts) the past two seasons, and is second in the NHL in GAA (2.29) and tied with Khudobin for second in save percentage (.926).
“He’s just a steady-as-he-goes kind of guy, stopping almost 93 percent of the shots last year; that’s a heavy number,” Pang said. “When Darcy Kuemper really took things over, things changed for that hockey club.”
6. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens
His 348 wins are first in Canadiens history, and last season went 27-25-6 to top 20 wins for the 10th time in 13 NHL seasons. Price had a 2.79 GAA, a .909 save percentage and four shutouts to help Montreal advance to the playoffs. He played 58 games (58 starts), tying for the NHL lead with Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets; faced 1,755 shots, the second-most in the League (Hellebuyck, 1,796); made 1,595 saves, second-most in the League (Hellebuyck, 1,656); and led goalies in time on ice at 3,439:49. Price was 5-5 in 10 postseason games and led all goalies to play at least 10 games with a 1.78 GAA and a .936 save percentage.
“The goaltenders, they really look highly upon Carey Price,” Pang said. “He’s got an aura about him. … He seems to be aware of everything, he’s got a real good hockey sense about him and that’s something that’s not used enough when we’re describing goaltenders.”
5. Jordan Binnington, St. Louis Blues
Binnington proved that his rookie season in 2018-19 was no fluke when he was a finalist for the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year (32 games, 24-5-1, 1.89 GAA, .927 save percentage, five shutouts) and won 16 playoff games to help the Blues to their first NHL championship. Last season he was third in the NHL with 30 wins (30-13-7) and had a 2.56 GAA, a .912 save percentage and three shutouts in 50 games (50 starts).
“When you win and summer goes quick, then the training camp happens again, you remind yourself what it took to get there in the first place,” Pang said. “Total determination in the offseason, get stronger, whatever your weaknesses are, get them stronger. … It is a long season (for Binnington) to be the No. 1 goaltender. There’s a lot asked of you.”
4. Ben Bishop, Dallas Stars
Bishop was 21-16-4 with a 2.50 GAA, a .920 save percentage and two shutouts in 44 games (43 starts) last season to help the Stars earn a playoff berth. After he was 1-4-1 with a 2.84 GAA and an .889 save percentage in his first six games, Bishop went 11-2-1 with a 1.70 GAA and a .947 save percentage in his next 16 games. During the past three seasons he has a 2.33 GAA, tied for second in the NHL with Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask in GAA, behind Binnington (2.30), and his .923 save percentage is third behind Kuemper and Antti Raanta of the Coyotes (each .924).
“Obviously he’s an incredible presence in the net,” Pang said. “The ability to go in after not playing for a while and win 1-0, he seems to come up with his best in those moments. Can absolutely control a game. … He looks athletic in there, when he gets down in crouch and gets nice and low, it just looks like it’s a natural position.”
3. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Hellebuyck went 31-21-5 with a 2.57 GAA, a .922 save percentage and a League-leading six shutouts to win the Vezina Trophy as the best goalie in the NHL last season and help the Jets to a berth in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. He was tied for first with Price among NHL goalies in games (58), faced the most shots (1,796), and made the most saves (1,656). Hellebuyck, who allowed two goals or fewer in 30 of his 56 starts, has made the most starts (182) and has the second-most wins (109), behind Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning (118), during the past three seasons.
“He works hard on his craft,” Pang said. “I think his glove has really improved, his angles … Everything has improved. … he’s been dynamic in that net and a reason why the Winnipeg Jets continue to get a lot of notoriety.”
2. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
Rask went 26-8-6 in 41 games last season, and led the NHL with a 2.12 GAA, was second with a .929 save percentage (Khudobin, .930; minimum 20 games), and was tied for second with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Golden Knights and Elvis Merzlikins of the Columbus Blue Jackets with five shutouts. Rask and Jaroslav Halak shared the William M. Jennings Trophy for helping the Bruins allow the fewest goals in the NHL (167). Rask allowed two or fewer goals in 27 of his 41 starts and began the season with a 20-game home point streak (14-0-6). He finished second to Hellebuyck in voting for the Vezina Trophy.
“I love the fact that he simplified the game, I love the fact that [he has] the calmness to stare the best shooters in the League eye-to-eye and then come up with the save,” Pang said. “He does everything well and in a consistent manner. I think you know what you’re going to get from Tuukka game in and game out.”
1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
After winning the Vezina Trophy in 2018-19, Vasilevskiy (35-14-3) led the NHL in wins for the third straight season and finished third in voting for the Vezina last season. He had a 2.56 GAA, a .917 save percentage and three shutouts, and allowed two goals or fewer in 27 of 52 starts. He had a 21-game point streak from Dec. 17-Feb. 15 (19-0-2) and helped Tampa Bay win at least 10 straight games twice. During the past three seasons Vasilevskiy leads the NHL in wins (118), is tied for first with Fleury in shutouts (17), and is fourth in save percentage (.921) among goalies who played at least 100 games during that span. He played every minute in the postseason, going 18-7 with a 1.90 GAA and a .927 save percentage to help the Lightning win the Stanley Cup.
“No. 88 is No. 1 and deservedly so,” Pang said. “When he was a first-round draft pick and (general manager) Steve Yzerman and his staff were building this organization, that’s the building block, A-plus right there. … When a shooter thinks he’s got him beat, not to be. …”