NHL Picks

Ranking the Best 5 Goaltenders for the 2022-23 Season

The 2022-23 NHL Season drops the puck on October 7, and on paper, it’s shaping up to be one of the most competitive seasons to date. Check the best NHL goaltenders below.

The Colorado Avalanche will look to repeat as Stanley Cup champions, while the other 31 teams hope to knock them off the pedestal. 

Before play begins, we’re taking a look at the best NHL goaltenders for the 2022-23 season. But what constitutes the “best” goaltender?

For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll be using goaltenders who rank in the top five of at least one major statistical category and have received at least one vote for the Vezina Trophy (presented to the league’s top goaltender) within the last three seasons. 

1. Igor Shesterkin

The defending Vezina Trophy winner, Igor Shesterkin, put up elite numbers during the 2021-22 season, leading the league in save percentage (.935) and GAA (2.07) among goaltenders with at least 10 starts.

Goals Saved Above Average

He also ranked third in the league in Goals Saved Above Average (GSAA) at 23.71, as did his .867 high danger save percentage. 

At 26 years of age, Shesterkin is just entering the prime of his career. After putting up a career-best 36-13-4 record, he should be in for an even bigger workload this season.

The Rangers have the fifth-best NHL odds to win the Eastern Conference at +1000, and they’ll need another strong performance from Shesterkin to achieve that mark. 

2. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Vailevskiy could have very easily ended up with the #1 overall spot on this list of the best NHL goaltenders.

After all, he’s guided his Lightning squad to the Stanley Cup Final for three consecutive season, winning the title in 2020 and 2021 and winning the Conn Smythe as the most valuable player of the playoffs in 2021. 

Over the past five seasons, Vasilevskiy ranks first in wins (188), second in starts (274), fourth in save percentage (.920), and sixth in GAA (2.47).

Starting Spot on One of the Best NHL Teams

While some may say those numbers are because of his starting spot on one of the best NHL teams, Vasilevskiy’s teammates readily acknowledge they wouldn’t have made the Stanley Cup runs without his strong play.

Vasilevskiy’s fifth-place finish in 2022 Vezina Trophy voting was his lowest in the past five seasons, and he won the award in 2019. 

3. Connor Hellebuyck

Hellebuyck’s position on this list will be frowned upon by some, but he’s been an absolute workhorse for Winnipeg.

Across the past five season, no goaltender has seen more shots over regular season play (9,385). In fact, Hellebuyck has more saves (8,605) than any other goaltender has shots against in that span.

Hellebuyck’s NHL Games Played

He also has more NHL games played (including the playoffs) than any goaltender except Vasilevskiy; considering the latter has made three consecutive finals appearances, this is no small feat.

Hellebuyck is a two-time all-star and won the Vezina Trophy in 2020. It often seems he doesn’t get the same respect and attention around the league as he would if he played in a larger hockey market.

Should he decide to leave Winnipeg after his contract is up following the 2023-24 season, he should be one of the most sought-after free agents in recent history.

4. Ilya Sorokin

Like Hellebuyck, Sorokin has flown somewhat under the radar in terms of recognition for his goaltending play. The 27-year-old Russian was a third-round pick in the 2014 draft, which was an impressive year for goaltenders.

  • Thatcher Demko
  • Alex Nedeljkovic
  • Vitek Vanecek
  • Elvis Merzlikins
  • Ville Husso
  • Kaapo Kahkonen
  • Shesterkin

Were all part of that class. Sorokin ranked second in save percentage (.925) last season while finishing fourth in GAA (2.40).

He was the backup to Semyon Varlamov to begin the season but has since more than commanded the starting reins in the net.

Sixth-Place Finish

A sixth-place finish in the Vezina Trophy voting earned him a place on the list despite having better NHL stats than Juuse Saros and Jacob Markstrom, both of whom finished ahead of Sorokin in the Vezina voting. He’d be one of the more sneaky NHL picks to win the 2022-23 Vezina at +800.

5. Frederik Andersen

Rounding out our list of best NHL goaltenders is Frederik Andersen, who seems to have finally found a fit in Carolina after stops in Anaheim and Toronto earlier in his career.

Andersen finished fourth in Selke voting last year after posting a solid campaign of 35 wins (seventh), a .922 save percentage (third), and a 2.17 GAA (second).

Losses in four of his final seven games, including a seven-goal shellacking in his final start against the Colorado Avalanche, likely hurt his case.

Andersen at the NHL Rankings

Still, Andersen ranks fourth in wins over the past five seasons and will have a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He was traded to Carolina ahead of the 2021-22 season after he was blamed for failing to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs past the first round of the playoffs (though Andersen was far from the leading cause of playoff futility).

A late-season injury cost him his shot at starting in the playoffs last season, but now that he’s back to full health, Andersen should be a force to be reckoned with this time around. 

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