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2012 Fantasy Hockey Draft - Goalie Rankings

by chewy 20. August 2012 15:45

To kick off the 2012-13 fantasy hockey draft season, Landsharkhockey.com is publishing our annual free player rankings this week.  And what better place to start than in net.  Today we reveal our Top 50 goalie rankings, along with player notes.  If you're looking for cookie-cutter predictions, you've come to the wrong place.  We've analyzed the situations for each goalie and we're predicting a major shake up in the standings for 2012-13. As always, our rankings are divided into tiers, so you can quickly spot where there is a significant drop off in talent.  This helps when you have a tough choice between positions come draft time. 

 

THE ELITE

OK, so it's not so shocking at the top.  Perhaps the biggest point of note is that the elite contains just 2 goalies.  After that, there is a significant drop in reliability.  So if you can't land one of these guys early in the draft, I advise waiting on this position and claiming one of the Tier 2 options.

 

1. Jonathan Quick (LA)

Topping last season is a bit too much to ask, after all, what else could he add to the dream that culminated with a Conn Smythe and a Stanley? You can draft him this year with full confidence that even if he just comes close to last year's performance, you'll have a top 3 goalie on your hands. Remember, the Kings struggled mightily through the middle half of the season. Assuming they pick up where they leaft off in June, Quick could be looking at 40+ wins this time around.

 

2. Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)

There are very few sure things from year to year when it comes to fantasy goalies. The King was finally rewarded for his steadiness with his first Vezina. Probably a season or two late in coming. Whether it's wins, saves, or any other goaltending stat that you covet, you can't miss with Lundqvist again this season. He may finally reach 40 wins for the first time in his career this season.

 

 

TIER 2

This is where things get interesting.  If you base you decision purely off of last year's results, you would naturally gravitate towards names like Mike Smith, Mikka Kiprusoff, and Jimmy Howard.  If you do this, you'll end up spending a high pick on yesterday's news.  Make room for some new names to challenge the big dogs:

 

3. Jaroslav Halak (STL)

You may find it shocking to see Halak so high on the draft list, but here are three reasons to believe he's due for a Vezina challenge: 1. He's that good. Think back to the Olympics when he carried Slovakia. Think back to his spectacular run with the Habs. He can be a wall. 2. Hitchcock. This man has a history of making goalies stats silly good. 3. I'm not sold on Elliot repeating his magic. Halak should emerge as the horse and get his 60 starts. Enough to make this a gamble worth taking. Feel free to wait on him, as others won't have him in the top 10. By the end of the season, he'll be a top-5 goalie. So don't wait too long. Don't forget, St. Louis piled up the wins last season. They just split 'em up between Halak and Elliot. More will fall this way in 2012-13. The one concern to keep an eye on up to draft time is how well he has recovered from last season's ankle injury. Initial word is that he will be good to go.

 

4. Tuukka Rask (BOS)

Perhaps it's a shocker to see last season's 35th ranked fantasy goalie cracking the top 5 on the draft list. But this is all about opportunity. When Thomas pulled himself out for the year, he handed Rask his finest gift, the chance to shine. The Bruins are a solid defensive team that will win games. Rask was solid last season with a 2.05 GAA. Now with nobody to challenge him for the spotlight, he could make a run at 35-40 wins.

 

 

5. Marc-Andre Fleury

Forget about the playoffs. I said, forget about it... Let's get back to that regular season when Fleury piled up 42 wins to go with a 2.36 GAA for the Pens. He was just outside the ranks of the Vezina candidates. (Hey, forget about the playoffs, ok?). What happened in April against the Flyers is hard to explain, and with Fleury, it's always hard to explain. But the bottom line here is that he's a great goalie who will start the bulk of the games for a great team. The addition of Vokoun can only help, as Bylsma won't feel obligated to hang the Flower out to dry when he has a bad game or two. Look for a fine bounce back in 2012-13. That said, we'll still classify this pick as a gamble. (It's hard to forget about the playoffs.)

 

6. Pekka Rinne (NAS)

Rinne put together another fine season as the Predator's workhorse, amassing a whopping 43 wins in 73 attempts. That would be good enough for 1st in the NHL last season. On the positive side, Rinne has seen his wins increase every season and he's really just entering his prime. On the downside, he's going to feel somewhat abandoned when camp opens and on of his two prime protectors is MIA. The loss of Suter will be felt. The Nashville defense goes from being one of the best in the business to somewhat undefined, as they're forced to promote some of their younger talent. It may be unreasonable to expect Rinne to compete for the Vezina again this season, and a repeat of the 43 wins is a long shot. That said, as far as Rinne himself is concerned, he's done nothing to this point in his career that would suggest he's not worthy of remaining among the elite at this position from a fantasy perspective.

 

 

 

Also in this tier:

  • Mike Smith (PHO) - great season last year will be next to impossible to repeat
  • Ryan Miller (BUF) - big rebound in store here

 

 

Jump on over to the Draft Guru and view the entire top 50 list.  You can customize your own draft list there, either starting from scratch, or manipulating our list to meet your needs.

 

Next up… Defense.

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