This article will help you decide when to draft your goalies, and how to use their strengths to your advantage.
The nhl 21 fantasy draft guide is a must-have for any hockey player. It includes the top 10 goalies in the NHL, and when to draft them.
ESPN’s standard game, now in its second season, rewards great goaltending like never before, with awards for victories, saves, shutouts, and penalties for goals conceded. To use an example from my previous post, a goalkeeper gets 5.6 fantasy points for saving 28 of 30 shots in a 4-2 victory, but conceding five goals on 31 shots in a 5-4 loss results in a fantasy net of -4.8 points. That is a massive swing.
ESPN’s perfect fantasy goalkeeper, as usual, plays and wins the majority of games while conceding few goals on a large amount of shots. The occasional shutout is a great bonus. You should be in contention until the campaign’s conclusion if you start with those top-tier characters and/or make appropriate changes during the season.
It’s simple, free, and enjoyable. Play ESPN Fantasy Hockey by starting or joining a league. Register for free!
In standard leagues, I’ll choose my No. 1 fantasy goaltender early – likely second round unless Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is still alive by pick six onward – and my second not long after, as I have in previous seasons. It is not necessary to apply if you are a member of a recognized tandem. Beyond establishing my one-two goaltender punch, I’m more relaxed and ready to take a chance on adding an undervalued mid-tier asset and a high-ceilinged sleeper to my netminding lineup. Ideally not, but knowing that some under-the-radar possibility (or two, or three) always emerges mid-season as a valuable plug-in item for those paying attention, these players may fall short without destroying a fantasy team. However, getting my G1 and G2 early in drafts continues to be a top goal.
I admire top-tier goalkeepers.
Tampa Bay Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy (No. 4 overall, No. 1 goaltender)
I’d choose him in the first round as the only netminder I’d consider. The two-time Stanley Cup champion is a game-changer because he not only puts up great fantasy statistics across the board, but he also plays a lot. Vasilevskiy, who led the league in victories (31), saves (1144), and shutouts (five) while posting a.925 save percentage and 2.21 GAA last season, is unrivaled. After being ripped off (Nikita Kucherov was as accurate as he was naked) this season, he’s already the odds-on favorite to win the Vezina Trophy next spring. In addition, he is a member of the NHL’s top team. This season, there are a lot of excellent fantasy goaltenders to select from. Vasilevskiy is in a class by himself.
Also see Darcy Kuemper of the Colorado Avalanche (No. 17 overall, No. 3 goaltender)
Goalkeepers in the mid-tier are the ones to look for.
Carolina Hurricanes’ Frederik Andersen (No. 90 overall, No. 14 goaltender)
The erstwhile Maple Leaf will benefit greatly from the change of surroundings. Andersen had his worst season of his career, marring an otherwise largely excellent five-year stint in Toronto, by playing through a lower-body ailment, a choice the goalie now doubts. Now that he’s recovered, the former All-Star (2020) can look forward to a new beginning in Raleigh. I’d be more worried about the possibility of Antti Raanta stealing starts if it weren’t for the former Coyote’s injury history. Raanta has had more than his fair share of health problems in recent years, while being a terrific goalie when healthy. Also, as shown by Petr Mrazek, Alex Nedeljkovic, and James Reimer’s recent success, the Hurricanes are kind to their goaltenders in their present form. Andersen, I believe, will do quite well.
Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury (No. 124 overall, No. 18 goaltender)
How much Kevin Lankinen do you think we’ll see this season? Some are speculating that coach Jeremy Colliton will deploy his netminders in tandem, but I disagree. The Blackhawks didn’t go out of their way to bet on the reigning Vezina Trophy winner – who may have decided to retire rather than go to Illinois – splitting starts even-stevens. Fleury will start more often than not, barring injury. While Chicago’s defense isn’t nearly as good as Vegas’, it’s a significant improvement. As a top asset, Seth Jones is a tremendous addition. Jake McCabe, a genuine defender, has been added to the blue line. The addition of former Oiler Jujhar Khaira as a tough-to-beat striker strengthens the corps up front. Captain Jonathan Toews, one of the game’s finest two-way centers, is apparently ready to return. This Chicago team is strong enough to make the playoffs, and Fleury, who is healthy, happy, and reasonably busy, will play a key role in getting them there. I’d love to have him as my fantasy goaltender No. 2 or 3, and you should feel the same way.
Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers is also worth mentioning (No. 142 overall, No. 21 goaltender)
Sleepers who are important
Florida Panthers’ Spencer Knight (No. 186 overall, No. 23 goaltender)
No matter how much the Panthers pay Sergei Bobrovsky, if Knight surpasses the veteran, who was just average in 2024-21, coach Joel Quenneville will stick with his rookie. Although it was a small sample size, the 20-year-old performed well in his first six NHL games, which included both regular season and playoff games. The Panthers are in desperate need of a victory right now. Management will not care how much Bob costs if the former Boston College star’s performance helps them reach to (and perhaps even through) the playoffs. The main issue is whether the 13th overall draft selection (2019) is ready to push his way into the starter’s crease now or after a year of experience. But I’m willing to give him a go as a high-ceilinged sleeper option. He’s also a no-brainer for any keeper or dynasty league.
Every night throughout the season, Barry Melrose and Linda Cohn will provide a postgame analysis and highlight program. ESPN+ is the place to be.
Also see Alex Nedeljkovic of the Detroit Red Wings (No. 204 overall, No. 26 goaltender)
Consider these late-round selections
Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson (No. 289 overall, No. 36 goaltender)
The 28-year-old goalkeeper has looked more irritated and less interested in recent seasons than in years before, while playing for a not-so-good club. His personal statistics, which include a GSAA of -5.0 in 2024-21 and -8.7 in 2019-20, testify to his declining performance. However, in southern California, things may be looking up a notch. Trevor Zegras, a highly touted prospect, and Jamie Drysdale, a defender, improve the squad. It certainly helps to have a healthy Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson back on the blue line (at least until he’s moved). Gibson can be relied on to contribute if the Ducks are to stay competitive, and he is the team’s go-to player barring injury. Another factor to ponder is whether or if the nine-year veteran may want a trade to a contender if Anaheim continues to struggle. GM Bob Murray would very certainly attempt to do this in the course of arranging a rebuild. Consider having John Gibson as your third or fourth fantasy goaltender on a strong squad. In later rounds, he’s worth picking up.
Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin (No. 305 overall, No. 38 goaltender)
Khudobin is much too good a goaltender to sit on the bench while Ben Bishop, Jake Oettinger, or Braden Holtby handle the Stars’ net. Either he will play or he will be moved. Any other situation is unworkable for both the player and the club. The veteran has a 103-95-44 record, 2.44 GAA, and.919 save percentage since joining the Stars in 2018. Those are solid statistics for a fantasy depth asset. Remember when Khudobin led his club to the Stanley Cup Final with great play? That was only a year ago. He is unquestionably deserving of consideration in the second round.
Calvin Petersen (No. 250 overall, No. 30 goalie); Ilya Sorokin (No. 252 overall, No. 31 goaltender); Jaroslav Halak (Vancouver Canucks) (No. 262 overall, No. 32 goaltender)
On ESPN, more people play than anyplace else. Join or start a league in the world’s most popular fantasy football game! Sign up for a free account >>
At the present value, avoid in drafts.
Boston Bruins’ Linus Ullmark (No. 30 overall, No. 7 goaltender)
So, what happens when Tuukka Rask returns to Boston in January after recovering from surgery and signing a fantastic one-year deal? Of course, there’s no guarantee, but that potential, along with the existence of Jeremy Swayman – who was largely fantastic through 10 games in his first regular season – gives Ullmark a lot of fantasy appeal. Before the former Sabre, I’m selecting around 15 additional goaltenders.
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jack Campbell (No. 48 overall, No. 10 goaltender)
It’s not personal, as it is with Ullmark. Campbell is a fantastic goalkeeper who has shown that he can play in the glare of a hockey-crazed city like Toronto. Petr Mrazek, a newcomer to the Maple Leafs, is no slacker. He’s going to take part in the game. Even GM Kyle Dubas used it on purpose “”We thought we needed to find a solid partner for [Jack Campbell], so we could have the best tandem possible,” said the former Carolina/Philly/Detroit goalie while explaining the rationale behind signing him. With [signing] Petr Mrazek, we believed we had accomplished it.” The most powerful duo imaginable. Mrazek will get plenty of starts, so no matter how good Campbell is, he won’t be able to justify his pick as a No. 1 fantasy goaltender in most teams. It’s also worth noting that in his NHL career, Campbell has only appeared in 31 games (31 with the Kings in 2018-19).
Mike Smith of the Edmonton Oilers is also worth mentioning (No. 39 overall, No. 8 goaltender)
Are you ready to start playing? Sign up for a free account right now.
The yahoo fantasy hockey is a guide that helps people decide when to draft their goalies. It includes information about the best time to draft your goalie, which position is most important to draft, and much more.
- espn fantasy hockey
- nhl 21 fantasy draft order
- nhl draft 2024
- nhl 21 franchise mode fantasy draft strategy
- nhl standings