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Rangers' Lundqvist ranked top fantasy goalie

NHL.com's Justin Goldman ranks top 30 netminders

By Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

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Rangers' Lundqvist ranked top fantasy goalie
NHL.com fantasy contributor Justin Goldman ranks the top 30 fantasy hockey goalies, with Henrik Lundqvist earning the No. 1 spot.

With the 2013-14 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings. Based on projected lineups, potential Yahoo! position eligibility, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinions, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.


In this season's top 30 fantasy goalie rankings, we have crowned Henrik Lundqvist over Antti Niemi as the king of the crease.

But, don't worry if they slip through your grasp in a draft, because you really can't go wrong with the rest of the top 10. Tuukka Rask is playing behind a team that is just as strong as last season, Jonathan Quick is just as valuable as Lundqvist and Niemi in terms of workload and Corey Crawford is poised for a steady season after signing a new six-year contract extension.

The tougher selections come in the 15-to-25 range, mainly due to the high number of tandems in the League. Drafting the more valuable goalie in Toronto, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and New Jersey is no easy task; James Reimer and Corey Schneider could easily be top 15 goalies, but since performance will dictate playing time, the same could also be said for Jonathan Bernier and Martin Brodeur.

Not including goalies in a tandem, we've pinpointed three names that could be great late-round steals.

The first is Jacob Markstrom, who is widely regarded as one of the best 23-year-old goalie prospects in the NHL. His career stats will detract poolies (10-19-2, 3.09 goals-against average, .906 save percentage), but he still has the opportunity to break out in a big way for the Florida Panthers.

Next is Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, one of the most flexible and explosive netminders in the NHL. He might be exposed behind a feeble defense once again, but with all of the exciting changes and new faces in Colorado, including legendary goalie coach Francois Allaire, he could be a solid late-round selection.

Finally there's Karri Ramo of the Calgary Flames, who hasn't played an NHL game since April 11, 2009, and now has the task of filling Miikka Kiprusoff's shoes on a rebuilding team. It seems like a pretty bleak outlook, but keep in mind that he was regarded as one of the KHL's best goalies in each of the past four seasons.

There's always a few injuries and surprises in goal during an NHL season, so we bolstered our rankings with a list of 10 goalies currently sitting just outside the NHL that could step in and have some success.

FANTASY FACEOFF -- GOALIE: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Antti Niemi

RANKINGS: Top 200 Overall | Center | Left Wing | Right Wing | Defense | Top 50 Analysis

2013-14 FANTASY SLEEPERS: Cubeta | Jensen | Sitkoff

NOTE: Positional rankings do not necessarily reflect the order of NHL.com's top 200 overall rankings, which are compiled based on the individual rankings of the four NHL.com insiders whose opinions were taken into account.

This preseason ranking places an emphasis on volume categories such as games played, wins and shots. Backups with an asterisk (*) next to their name are projected to play in more than 30 games and shouldn't be regarded as such since they are expected to be utilized as part of a tandem.

Rank Team Player Proj. games Backup
1. Henrik Lundqvist 72 Martin Biron
2. Antti Niemi 72 Alex Stalock
3. Tuukka Rask 68 Chad Johnson
4. Jonathan Quick 68 Ben Scrivens
5. Corey Crawford 68 Nikolai Khabibulin
6. Jimmy Howard 68 Jonas Gustavsson
7. Mike Smith 62 Thomas Greiss
8. Roberto Luongo 65 Eddie Lack
9. Pekka Rinne 68 Carter Hutton
10. Carey Price 72 Peter Budaj
11. Craig Anderson 62 Robin Lehner
12. Sergei Bobrovsky 68 Curtis McElhinney
13. Kari Lehtonen 62 Dan Ellis
14. Ryan Miller 62 Jhonas Enroth
15. Niklas Backstrom 65 Josh Harding
16. Marc-Andre Fleury 55 Tomas Vokoun
17. Braden Holtby 58 Michal Neuvirth
18. Cam Ward 62 Anton Khudobin
19. Cory Schneider 45 Martin Brodeur*
20. Devan Dubnyk 62 Jason LaBarbera
21. Jonas Hiller 41 Viktor Fasth*
22. Jaroslav Halak 50 Brian Elliott*
23. Jonathan Bernier 50 James Reimer*
24. Ondrej Pavelec 65 Al Montoya
25. Semyon Varlamov 62 Jean-Sebastien Giguere
26. Evgeni Nabokov 70 Kevin Poulin
27. Jacob Markstrom 58 Scott Clemmensen
28. Ray Emery 44 Steve Mason*
29. Ben Bishop 50 Anders Lindback*
30. Karri Ramo 45 Joey MacDonald*

TEN HIDDEN GEMS

1. Jake Allen, Blues

2. Reto Berra, Flames

3. Antti Raanta, Blackhawks

4. Petr Mrazek, Red Wings

5. Niklas Svedberg, Bruins

6. Cristopher Nilstorp, Stars

7. Philipp Grubauer, Capitals

8. Darcy Kuemper, Wild

9. Anders Nilsson, Islanders

10. Magnus Hellberg, Predators

NHL.COM FANTASY HOCKEY COVERAGE
Pete Jensen's 10 sleepers for 2014-15
Matt Cubeta's 10 sleepers for 2014-15
Matt Sitkoff's 10 sleepers for 2014-15
30 in 30 fantasy hockey preview index
Goalie battles: SJS | ANA | STL | MIN | CAR
Offseason top 200 fantasy hockey ranks

OFFSEASON FANTASY RANKINGS

RANK TEAM PLAYER
1. Sidney crosby
2. Steven Stamkos
3. Corey Perry
4. Evgeni Malkin
5. alex Ovechkin

CUBETA & JENSEN'S COMPLETE RANKINGS