Ranking the NHL’s top goaltenders for 2023: Why Vasilevskiy is the clear top choice
There should be no debate about the best goaltender in the NHL, at least according to one goaltending coach.
“For me, No. 1 by far,” the coach told Sportzshala. “He is king right now. He was king for a while. There are no arguments here.”
This is quite a statement. Consider that nine different goaltenders have won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best player in the last nine seasons. A lot of network miners claim this throne. Therefore, we turned to the experts to find out which goalkeeper, in their opinion, is sitting on it.
Sportzshala’s 2023 NHL Position Rankings compiled 20 polls that feature those on the ice and behind the scenes.
Here’s how it worked: Polls were conducted over the past two months. Respondents were asked to rank their current top 10 players in center, forward, defenseman and goaltender based on a pre-defined list of 25 to 35 top players in each position. Players in the top ten were assigned a numerical score: No. 1 earned 10 points, No. 2 earned nine points, and so on.
10 NHL players were interviewed – six from the Eastern Conference, four from the Western Conference. They range from NHL award nominees to seasoned role players. To balance this view, we interviewed 10 people from NHL hockey operations teams, including three coaches and three general managers.
Collectively, their findings have led to rankings that go beyond fan and media speculation to bring out the best of the best—at least according to those who work in the NHL.
Here are the top 10 goalkeepers according to our polls, with additional reports from yours truly, Kristen Shilton and Ryan Clarke, to add context to the selection. Statistics are collected from sites such as Trick with natural characteristics, Ice Hockey Directory And Evolving hockey.