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Fantasy goalie top 25 rankings for 2018-19

Raanta potential steal again; Crawford can be bargain if healthy; rookie Hart has sneaky upside

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com is previewing the fantasy goalie landscape for 2018-19. From top players to underrated options and rookies at the position, this guide will prepare you for upcoming drafts. For more fantasy hockey coverage, visit For more fantasy coverage, visit NHL.com/Fantasy.

 

MORE FANTASY RANKNGS: Top 250 | F | C | LW | RW | D 

 

OFFSEASON MOVEMENT

Philipp Grubauer, COL (NHL.com rank: 144; Yahoo average draft position: 156.3) -- After an impressive regular season backing up Braden Holtby with the Washington Capitals, Grubauer faltered in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. He and Semyon Varlamov (potential 2019 unrestricted free agent) should form one of the better timeshares, and Grubauer's stock would rise if Varlamov deals with injuries again.

Carter Hutton, BUF (NHL.com: 147; ADP: 146) -- Hutton signed a three-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres after serving as the backup with the St. Louis Blues the past two seasons and will be a starter for the first time in his NHL career. Although he previously played on teams with stronger offenses and defenses, the additions of defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (No. 1 pick in 2018 NHL Draft) and forward Jeff Skinner (via trade) have vastly improved the Sabres. Hutton should have a high save percentage and decent goals-against average, although he may lose out on some wins in the difficult Atlantic Division.

 

BARGAIN HUNTING

Corey Crawford, CHI (NHL.com: 132; ADP: 118.7) -- Because of his uncertainty to begin the season -- Crawford last played Dec. 23 because of an upper-body injury -- the Chicago Blackhawks goalie is going on average in the 10th round and has been the 20th selected at his position. When healthy, he's a top 10 goalie in the League, having won at least 30 games in each of the past six full NHL seasons before 2017-18 with a career GAA of 2.37 and SV% of .919. The Blackhawks have signed veteran Cam Ward for insurance, but if Crawford returns early enough, he could be one of the biggest fantasy bargains, regardless of position.

Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (NHL.com: 148; ADP: 104.8) -- Because the New York Rangers are currently in rebuilding mode, Lundqvist, a top-end goalie, is available much later than he usually would be or should be. The 36-year-old is coming off the highest GAA of his NHL career (2.98) and fewest wins in a full season (26), and his GAA has increased in each of the past three seasons. That said, he's had at least 30 wins in 11 of his 12 full NHL seasons and has never had a SV% below .910. If he's recovered from the knee injury sustained last season, Lundqvist could return high dividends at his low draft value for a team that is being overlooked in fantasy.

 

POTENTIAL STEALS

Antti Raanta, ARI (NHL.com: 95; ADP: 133.5) -- The Arizona Coyotes goalie is being selected 24th at his position on average, which is way too low after his breakout season (finished seventh among goalies in Yahoo). Raanta, who dealt with injuries last season, went 21-17-6 and had the second best SV% (.930) and GAA (2.24; T-2nd) among goalies with at least 20 appearances. He could potentially be the second or third goalie you draft and has the ability to be a top 10 fantasy goalie again, especially after the Coyotes acquired forward Alex Galchenyuk.

Juuse Saros, NSH (NHL.com: 216; ADP: 166.3) -- Saros was one of the better backups in the NHL last season (11-5-7, 2.42 GAA, .923 SV%, four SO in 26 games) and could be in line for an increased workload with the Nashville Predators. Starter Pekka Rinne, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, will turn 36 on Nov. 3 and can become a UFA after this season. Nashville could give Saros, the 34th goalie drafted on average, north of 30 starts, making him a potential steal attainable outside the top 200.

 

ROOKIES TO WATCH

Carter Hart, PHI (NHL.com and ADP: N/A) -- The 20-year-old was named the best goalie in the Western Hockey League and the Canadian Hockey League last season (31-6-3, 1.60 GAA, .947 SV%). Although he likely will begin the season in the American Hockey League, he could play with the Philadelphia Flyers as early as this season. Philadelphia has goalies Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth and Alex Lyon currently ahead of him on the depth chart, but Hart is worth stashing in dynasty and keeper leagues and should be monitored on the waiver wire in standard formats. Elliott and Neuvirth are each entering the final season of his contract, presenting an opportunity for Hart to win the job outright by season's end.

Thatcher Demko, VAN (NHL.com and ADP: N/A) -- The 22-year-old played one game with the Vancouver Canucks last season, allowing four goals on 30 shots and got his first NHL win in a 5-4 overtime victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets on March 31. He has performed well in the AHL the past two seasons and could see playing time in the NHL this season. Jacob Markstrom (two seasons remaining on contract) and Anders Nilsson (one season) are ahead on the depth chart but Vancouver could see what they have in Demko this season before deciding on their goaltending plans for the future.

 

TOP 25 GOALIE RANKINGS

Standard Yahoo goalie categories include wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. ... Value has been quantified based on factors including but not limited to past production, team goaltender situations, anticipated start volume, projected goal support (or lack thereof), injury history, age, sleeper, bounce-back or breakout potential, anticipated regression and contract status. ... Any potential 2019 unrestricted (*) and restricted (**) free agents are noted below. ... INJ. indicates players with injury concerns. ... David Satriano's goalie rankings may differ from Pete Jensen and Rob Reese's orders at the position in NHL.com's top 250 overall.

 

1. Pekka Rinne, NSH*
2. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL
3. Connor Hellebuyck, WPG
4. Braden Holtby, WSH
5. Tuukka Rask, BOS
6. Jonathan Quick, LAK
7. Sergei Bobrovsky, CBJ*
8. Frederik Andersen, TOR
9. Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK
10. John Gibson, ANA
11. Martin Jones, SJS
12. Devan Dubnyk, MIN
13. Ben Bishop, DAL (INJ.)
14. Matt Murray, PIT
15. Carey Price, MTL
16. Antti Raanta, ARI
17. Corey Crawford, CHI (INJ.)
18. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR
19. Jake Allen, STL (INJ.)
20. Carter Hutton, BUF
21. Cam Talbot, EDM*
22. Roberto Luongo, FLA
23. Mike Smith, CGY*
24. Cory Schneider, NJD (INJ.)
25. Semyon Varlamov, COL*

 

Just missed: Philipp Grubauer, COL; Juuse Saros, NSH; Brian Elliott, PHI*, Keith Kinkaid, NJD*; Petr Mrazek, CAR*; Robin Lehner, NYI*

 

READ: Top 25 goalie rankings from July 11

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