Top 10 Best NHL Goalies of All-Time
When it comes to the sport of hockey, where a split-second decision can shape the fate of a game, one position stands out as the last line of defense: the goalie. Arguably the most pressure-filled position in all of sports, NHL goaltenders require a high level of focus and nerves of steel. With their awe-inspiring acrobatics and lightning-quick reflexes, these masked men have delivered some of hockey’s biggest moments over the years.
Each puck stopper has a unique story, a personal journey that intertwines with their performance on the ice and the game itself. From iconic rivalries to legendary performances, the game’s best goaltenders have left an indelible mark on the sport of hockey. In this article from Bovada Sportsbook, we present our selections for the top 10 best NHL goalies of all-time. Keep reading for a closer look at the extraordinary men who have redefined the art of goaltending and etched their names into the annals of NHL history.
#10 – Turk Broda
Nicknamed “Turk,” Walter Edward Broda was a stalwart netminder for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 1936 to 1952. Broda backstopped the team to five Stanley Cup championships. Known for his unyielding determination and clutch performances, he possessed an unmatched ability to rise to the occasion when the stakes were highest. Broda’s agility, positioning and knack for making extraordinary saves endeared him to fans and helped him to become the first goaltender in NHL history to win 300 games.
Enjoy crypto gambling at Bovada!
#9 – Tony Esposito
Serving as the backbone of the Chicago Blackhawks from 1968 to 1984, Esposito redefined the position with his unique style and unparalleled consistency. A two-time Vezina Trophy winner and three-time First Team All-Star, his butterfly technique and quick reflexes made him one of the game’s best goalies. With his iconic mask and fiery competitiveness, Esposito cemented his place among the elite goaltenders of his era and remains a true icon of the game.
#8 – Georges Vezina
As the Montreal Canadiens’ star goalie from 1917 to 1926, Vezina was an instrumental figure in the team’s early success. His exceptional reflexes, impeccable positioning and unwavering dedication made him a force to be reckoned with. He played an incredible 328 consecutive games, a testament to his durability and commitment to his craft, while also earning the first shutout in NHL history. Sadly, his career was cut short by illness, but his legacy lives on with the Vezina Trophy; an award given annually to the league’s top goaltender, ensuring that his name remains forever synonymous with excellence in net.
#7 – Terry Sawchuk
Terry Sawchuk is a name that resonates with greatness and resilience in the realm of NHL goaltending. His stoic demeanor masked an unyielding determination to stop any shot that came his way. His list of accomplishments is staggering, including four Stanley Cup championships, four Vezina Trophies and a Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year in 1951. His records and achievements etch his name into the pantheon of legends, reminding us of his indomitable spirit and remarkable skills that continue to inspire goaltenders to this day.
#6 – Ken Dryden
Standing at an imposing 6 feet 4 inches, Dryden revolutionized the goaltending position during his relatively short but illustrious career. Bursting onto the scene with the Montreal Canadiens in 1970, Dryden wasted no time making his mark. Dryden’s agility and lightning-fast glove hand made him a formidable opponent, while his unflappable poise under pressure elevated him to legendary status. In just seven seasons, Dryden captured six Stanley Cups, five Vezina Trophies and the 1971 Conn Smythe Trophy.
#5 – Glenn Hall
Known as “Mr. Goalie,” Hall was a pillar of consistency and durability who showcased his brilliance throughout his illustrious career. From his debut in 1952 to his retirement in 1971, Hall defined the modern goaltending style for the Red Wings, Blackhawks and Blues with his trademark butterfly technique. He played an astonishing 502 consecutive regular-season games, a record that still stands to this day. With Chicago, Hall brought home the Stanley Cup in 1961 and earned three Vezina Trophies.
Earn $$$ for every friend you refer to Bovada!
#4 – Patrick Roy
Famously playing for his hometown Montreal Canadiens, and later the Colorado Avalanche, Roy amassed an impressive list of accomplishments, including four Stanley Cup championships and three Conn Smythe Trophies. Roy’s butterfly style and competitive nature earned him the reputation as one of the greatest clutch goaltenders in NHL history. His show-stopping saves and unwavering confidence made him a true game-changer. Roy’s impact extended beyond the ice, inspiring a generation of young goaltenders who sought to emulate his remarkable success.
#3 – Dominik Hasek
Known simply as the “Dominator,” Hasek brought an unparalleled level of artistry and unorthodox style to the goaltending position. His acrobatic saves and unconventional techniques defied logic and left opponents shaking their heads in disbelief. From his rookie season in 1990 to his final year in 2008, Hasek redefined the parameters of what a goaltender could accomplish. His ability to contort his body in ways that seemed humanly impossible made him a nightmare for opposing shooters. Over the course of his career, Hasek won two Hart Trophies as the league’s most valuable player, as well as six Vezina Trophies.
#2 – Jacques Plante
As the first goaltender to regularly wear a protective mask, Plante helped set a new standard for player safety and became a true pioneer of the goaltending position. Playing goalie for the Montreal Canadiens from 1952 to 1973, Plante captured an astonishing six Stanley Cup championships. His technical brilliance and exceptional puck-handling skills has a significant impact on the game, transforming the role of the goaltender into an active participant in the team’s offense. Plante’s individual accolades, including a remarkable seven Vezina Trophies, attest to his dominance and impact on the sport.
#1 – Martin Brodeur
At the top of our list is the New Jersey Devils goaltending legend, Martin Brodeur. With the Devils franchise, Brodeur captured three Stanley Cups and amassed numerous individual accolades over a remarkable 21-year stretch. His unique hybrid style, coupled with his strong puck-handling abilities, made him a game-changer on the ice. Brodeur’s durability and consistency were unparalleled, as he holds the records for most wins, shutouts and games played by a goaltender in NHL history. His accomplishments, including four Vezina Trophies, make him a true icon of the game. Brodeur’s legacy as one of the greatest and most influential goaltenders of all time is firmly etched in the history books of the NHL.