2017 Outlook: It's no secret that Holtby is an excellent netminder, but the 26-year-old reached another level in 2015-16 and cemented himself as elite. The Vezina Trophy winner etched his name in the history books with 48 wins, tying one of the greats, Martin Brodeur. His record (48-9-7), .922 save percentage and 2.20 GAA were good enough to beat out the likes of Ben Bishop and Jonathan Quick for the hardware, but now all eyes are on a repeat performance after the Caps' season ended earlier than expected. With essentially the entire roster returning, don't expect a step back from Holtby, who has now reached 40 wins in two straight campaigns. Don't underestimate the hunger to silence the critics, either, as the team -- and Holtby -- must prove that 2015-16 regular season was no fluke. Draft him as the first or second netminder off the board and you'll be sitting pretty in the blue paint.
2017 Outlook: Will the best goalie in the world be healthy this season? That's the big question surrounding the 2014-15 league MVP, who was limited to just 12 appearances last year due to a strained ligament in his knee suffered in November. Price is reportedly back to 100 percent and ready for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in September, a tournament that will be something of a fantasy godsend for determining his health status -- and ultimately, his value -- heading into the NHL season. At his best, the 29-year-old is an easy choice for the first goalie off the board in drafts, but considering the uncertainty regarding his knee and the struggles of the Canadiens last season, a safer option might be the Capitals' Braden Holtby, who is coming off an insane 48-win year that saw him take home the Vezina trophy. On the flip side, if Price is good to go, he's more than capable of carrying just about any team, so if others sleep on him too long in drafts for some reason, make sure you capitalize.
2017 Outlook: Last season was Jones' first with the Sharks, and the 26-year-old netminder was able to make one heck of a first impression, compiling an impressive 37-23-4 record with a 2.27 GAA and .918 save percentage over 65 regular-season appearances. The former King also earned six shutouts during his debut campaign with San Jose, good for second most in the NHL, and backstopped the Sharks to within two wins of the franchise's first Stanley Cup title, posting a 14-10-4 record with a 2.16 GAA and .923 save percentage during San Jose's impressive postseason run. Despite his fantastic performance in 2015-16, the British Columbia native is still somewhat of an unproven commodity, and could regress a bit in his second season as a full-time starter. Either way, as long as Jones can stay healthy and continue to handle the rigors of life as a No.1 goaltender in the NHL, he should be one of the top fantasy options in net in 2016-17.
2017 Outlook: Quick traded in a few overtime losses for wins last year, but otherwise nearly replicated his stat line from 2014-15, notching a .918 save percentage (identical) and 2.22 GAA (0.02 lower). Those ratios fall short of elite status, but Quick's high volume of starts for a quality Los Angeles team resulted in his first 40-win season. At 30 years old, the American netminder shouldn't be slowing down anytime soon, so he appears to be in line for another season of close to 70 starts. Other goalies may put up better save percentages, but the Kings' strong defense keeps his GAA solid, and Quick's huge volume combined with his ratios makes him enormously valuable in fantasy. After Braden Holtby and Carey Price are off the draft board, Quick makes for an easy, low-risk choice over the rest of the field as part of one of the most consistently solid teams in the Pacific Division.
2017 Outlook: Bishop is a monster. He brings size, skill and speed to the blue paint, and that has translated into 37, 41 and 35 wins in the past three seasons, respectively -- not to mention two Vezina nominations. Big Ben is heading into the final year of a contract that pays him $5.95 million and he has Andrei Vasilevskiy barking at his heels for playing time. With that in mind, Bishop is going to be traded; it's just a matter of when, as the Bolts just can't afford to pay his asking price. The American netminder will be the top dog in Tampa if he breaks camp with the squad, just as he'll be the top goalie anywhere he happens to play after the trade deadline. Elite is elite, and Bishop's game translates anywhere. If healthy, he should deliver stats just like he did in 2015-16, and that means he'll be at or near the top of the GAA and save percentage leader list. The only caveat? He has suffered some weird injuries in the postseason in each of the past three years. Bishop is fantasy gold as long as he stays healthy.
2017 Outlook: Schneider is almost certainly the best goalie in the NHL without a 30-win season to his name. He's posted superstar numbers each season, never finishing with a save percentage under .921 in any of the past six seasons. But Schneider has never really gotten his due credit because career circumstances have conspired to limit the rewards for his incredible performances. First he had to escape from Roberto Luongo's shadow in Vancouver, then Martin Brodeur's in New Jersey; Schneider finally emerged as a franchise netminder during the past two seasons, but has had the misfortune of doing so for a Devils team that's been allergic to scoring. Things were trending up last season, and this offseason's acquisition of Taylor Hall should provide a serious boost to the offense, helping Schneider earn some more victories and making him one of the most valuable goalies in fantasy.
2017 Outlook: With the talented Blackhawks a threat to contend each year, Crawford remains one of the most reliable fantasy netminders in the game. The 31-year-old had arguably his best season to date in 2015-16, posting a 35-18-5 record with a .924 save percentage and seven shutouts. In each of his past five full seasons, he has appeared in 55-plus games and posted save percentages in the .917 to .924 range. Crawford's consistency makes him one of the most sought after goaltenders in fantasy, and a dynamic Chicago blue line that includes Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson doesn't hurt, either. Aside from the return Brian Campbell, Chicago didn't make any huge acquisitions this offseason, but the core remains intact, powered by 2016 Art Ross Trophy winner Patrick Kane. Crawford is the go-to guy in the Windy City, and after posting three consecutive seasons with 30-plus wins, he should be in for another successful campaign in 2016-17.
2017 Outlook: They call him "King Henrik," but the blue-caped backstop was easily knocked off his throne in 2015-16. In the months of December, March and April, the Swede carried GAA's of 3.27, 3.38 and 3.32, respectively. He was obliterated against the Penguins -- the eventual Stanley Cup champions -- in the conference semifinals, allowing the puck to travel past him 15 times on 113 shots for a putrid save mark of .867. Still, the forgettable campaign is a small passing cloud over an otherwise bright career. The 34-year-old remains one of the best goalies in the league having been named the Rangers' MVP in seven seasons, an All-Star in three, and the Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL's top netminder in 2012. With the Rangers ranking in the top-third of the league in goals per game in each of the past two seasons and a good shot at making it three in a row, expect Hank to be a dependable source of wins in fantasy; only once in his 11-year career has he finished with fewer than 30 in a single season. Lundqvist's stinker of a year will have plenty of fantasy owners shopping elsewhere, but that could be a mistake given his overall track record. Buy low.
2017 Outlook: Rinne presents a conundrum for fantasy owners. Once regarded as one of the NHL's elite goalies, the 33-year-old Finn has posted below-average save percentages in three of the past four seasons; in the other one, he was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy. That's quite a lot of variance, and it makes him hard to value entering this season. You can count on him for a start total in the 60s, which gives Rinne a solid floor, but come draft day, be sure you're paying for his volume, not his reputation, as the quality of his ratios is anything but certain. That said, the Predators should be good again, with the acquisition of P.K. Subban arguably counting as a modest upgrade over Shea Weber (at least offensively). Rinne is a lock for 30-plus wins, and he could hit 40 for the third time in his career if the Preds' forward group, led by studs Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and James Neal, continues to produce at a high level.
2017 Outlook: The Bruins' top goalie put in another workhorse season in 2015-16, appearing in 64 games – 31 of which resulted in wins. Despite having recorded 30-plus victories in each of the past three seasons, the 2013-14 Vezina winner has both seen his GAA and save percentage decline during that span (2.04 and .930 in 2013-14 vs. 2.56 and .915 last season), so concern regarding Rask's fantasy value is justifiable. He's not old by any stretch at 29, but the B's have an aging blue line and 39-year-old Zdeno Chara isn't the same player he used to be in front of Rask, so it's reasonable to project Rask's numbers to continue to trend downward. The Finn will still get plenty of time in the blue paint and provide value based on the sheer volume of starts he'll make, earning him a spot as a serviceable No. 1 fantasy netminder on a Bruins squad that always seems to be competitive in the Atlantic Division.
2017 Outlook: Don't look now, but the Blues have just one starting goalie this season. Last season, Allen was well on his way to marking his territory as the Blues' No. 1 ahead of Brian Elliott when the Ducks' Corey Perry crashed into him in January. That resulted in a knee injury, time on injured reserve and then a spot on the pine upon his return. Allen got the blue paint back for only a short time when Elliott went on the IR himself in mid-February, but head coach Ken Hitchcock handed the reins back to Elliott as the postseason neared. He's in line for 65-plus starts this season, but with the possibility that Hitch gives him only 55-60 to try to keep him healthy. Still, Allen could post 35 wins with similar ratios as 2015-16 (2.35 GAA, .920 save percentage). After all, he has the enviable luxury of playing behind one of the NHL's best defenses, and although Allen is a true No. 1 netminder in 12-team leagues, the fatigue factor is worth considering. He's never started more than 44 games in any season, so there's a chance he'll wear down under a heavy load.
2017 Outlook: Luongo was a workhorse for the Panthers last season, compiling a 35-19-6 record with a 2.35 GAA and .922 save percentage in 62 appearances. Those numbers were spectacular for a 37-year-old netminder on the down slope of his career, as 35 wins left him in a tie with four other goaltenders for fourth most in the league, and his .922 save percentage equaled the output of two other backstops for seventh best. However, Luongo's starts and win totals could decrease in 2016-17 if his body has a hard time holding up following offseason hip surgery. While he expects to be ready for the start of the next campaign, it won't soon be forgotten how the 16-year veteran's declining health prompted the Panthers to look for answers in free agency and ultimately led to the signing of James Reimer to a five-year, $17 million contract this offseason. Reimer appears to be Florida's goaltender of the future, but the starting job should still be Luongo's to lose.
2017 Outlook: Gibson is a highly touted Ducks netminder who played in 40 regular-season games in 2015-16. Not only did Gibson put up an outstanding 2.07 GAA to go with a .920 save percentage, but his four shutouts were on par with some of the NHL's top veterans, including the likes of Florida's Roberto Luongo and Boston's Tuukka Rask. Frederik Andersen, a guy who had been eating away at Gibson's playing time, was dealt to the Maple Leafs in the offseason and was replaced with the enigmatic Jonathan Bernier, which paves the way for Gibson to take the reins as the clear No. 1 backstop. Gibson could see a meteoric rise in fantasy value this season.
2017 Outlook: One of the league's most reliable netminders for the past several seasons, Elliott will be a great fit in Calgary, as the Flames' goaltending was an absolute disaster last season. The NHL's most generous goaltending corps gets a serious upgrade with the NHL's 2015-16 save percentage champion, and he immediately steps in as the projected starter behind one of the highest upside teams around. To rain on this parade a little, though, it's worth keeping in mind that Elliott has started 50 games just once in eight seasons -- and that was the worst season of his career. The silver lining is that he doesn't have a ton of mileage on him at age 31, but that career-long lack of staying power offers a cautionary note for fantasy owners. So, too, does the fact that Elliott spent the last five seasons in St. Louis, and it remains a bit of an open question how he'll perform on a team that's less committed to defense. Calgary also added some insurance by signing Chad Johnson, who acquitted himself very well as a part-time starter in Buffalo last season.
2017 Outlook: Through the middle of February last season, Mrazek was well on his way to emerging as one of the NHL's top goalies. After 38 appearances, he owned a 21-10-5 record, 1.94 GAA and .933 save percentage. But the young Czech netminder stumbled down the stretch, posting a brutal .866 save percentage over his final 16 games while ceding a considerable amount of net time to veteran Jimmy Howard. However, Mrazek still ended up with shining stats over his 49 starts -- a 2.33 GAA and .921 save mark (11th in the NHL) are certainly welcome on fantasy rosters -- and he ultimately outplayed Howard in the Wings' one-round postseason run. At 24 years old, he's still developing and can be forgiven for slowing down the stretch in his first campaign as a No. 1 netminder. With both members of the tandem returning in 2016-17, Mrazek can again be expected to enjoy a majority role, but he'll need to show more staying power to approach 60 starts.