EA Sports has revealed the top 10 rated goalies in NHL 17. There are no surprises on the list, but there are a few netminders who I personally think are rated a bit too high and too low. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
10. Ben Bishop – Tampa Bay Lightning: 89 Overall
The 6’7 Bishop is one of the most imposing goaltenders in the league, and he doesn’t leave a lot of room for skaters to shoot at. Bishop has good puck vision (90), rebound control (90), and one of the best passing abilities of any goalie in the game (86).
Bishop is a goalie who is often overshadowed by the explosive offense he plays in front of in Tampa Bay, but Big Ben put up beastly numbers in the 2015-2016 season. He was acknowledged by the league for his otherworldly season with a Vezina nomination, but apparently not with his EA rating. 89 overall is way too low.
9. Tuukka Rask – Boston Bruins: 89 Overall
The pride of Savonlinna, Finland has five-star reflexes, as well as elite speed (90) and agility (90).
Rask struggled with inconsistency last season, but he still put up solid individual numbers playing for a mediocre team in Boston. Rask isn’t the first goalie I would look to when building a team, but he’s still a very serviceable option. 89 overall is fair for Rask.
8. Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins: 90 Overall
Like Rask, speed (90) and agility (90) are Fleury’s strengths. The 31-year-old former first overall draft pick is still one of the most athletic goalies in the league.
The Flower has always been an interesting case. In terms of individual skill, he has all the gifts a netminder could ask for, and he showed that again in 2015-2016 by putting together one of his best regular seasons before going down with an injury. However, Fleury has always struggled with injuries, inconsistency, and epic meltdowns in the playoffs. Talented? Absolutely. The go-to guy? Maybe not. Even after Fleury returned in this year’s playoffs, the Penguins opted to go with rookie goalie Matt Murray instead. The “number one goalie” watched from the bench while his team won a Stanley Cup. That says a lot, and I think 90 overall is a tad too high of a rating for Fleury.
7. Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks: 90 Overall
It’s fitting that the two-time Stanley Cup champ gets a 90 for poise since he’s at his best in high-pressure situations.
Corey Crawford is this generation’s Chris Osgood, a goalie who is incredibly talented and plays his best on the highest stage but doesn’t get his due because of the elite teams he’s played in front of. Well, it seems like that’s starting to change for Crawford. After being selected by Team Canada for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, it looks like Crow is finally getting some recognition. A 90 overall rating suits this clutch performer just fine.
6. Pekka Rinne – Nashville Predators: 91 Overall
Rinne has a five-star athletic ability, and size is one of his most important weapons. He is one of the tallest goalies in the league.
The Nashville Predators have brought playoff hockey to the music city nine out of the last 13 years, and a big reason for most of those playoff berths is Pekka Rinne. The 33-year-old’s career has been one marked by steady dominance, and he doesn’t look he’s slowing down any time soon. A severe hip infection threatened Rinne’s career in 2013, and there were rumblings when he returned that he may not be the same goalie. However, over the last two seasons, he has put those criticisms to bed. 91 overall is about where Rinne should be.
5. Cory Schneider – New Jersey Devils: 91 Overall
Schneider relies on technique, positioning, and angles (92) to get the job done.
Cory Schneider is one of the most underrated athletes in the NHL, period. He plays for a young, rebuilding team in New Jersey, and he doesn’t get the same praise as the Careys and the Henriks of the league. However, he deserves to be in the same conversation. Vancouver trading Schneider to the Devils back in 2013 has proved to be one of the dumbest trades of the last decade. Schneider is one of the best there is, and his 91 rating is slightly too low. I think he should be rated above the next man on this list.
4. Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers: 92 Overall
Lundqvist has a 91 stick low and five hole rating. The Swede plays deep in his crease and challenges goalies to beat him up high.
No other goalie in the NHL has received the moniker “The King”, and in Hank’s case, it’s well earned. Lundqvist has carried many Rangers teams on his shoulders over the years, even going as far as the Stanley Cup final in 2014. However, at age 34, those shoulders are tired. Lundqvist’s age showed this spring when his Rangers were steamrolled by the Penguins in the playoffs. He’s still one of most talented men ever to play the position, and definitely a first ballot Hall of Famer. However, Lundqvist is about to be eclipsed by younger names like Schneider, Holtby, and Price. I love me some Hank, but 92 overall is too high.
3. Braden Holtby – Washington Capitals: 92 Overall
The 2016 Vezina winner’s strength is his play down low. He carries a 91 five hole, 91 stick low, and a 90 glove low rating.
Holtbeast has posted back-to-back 40 win seasons, but this year’s Vezina Trophy was his coming out party. At age 26, Holtby hasn’t even reached his peak as a goaltender. He could very well be the best in the league in a couple of seasons. I see a few more Vezinas and maybe even a few Stanley Cups in his future. With an elite team in front of him in Washington, the sky is the limit. A 92 rating is too low for Holtby. The only goalie who should be rated higher is Price.
2. Jonathan Quick – Los Angeles Kings: 93 Overall
Quick has a 94 aggression rating and loves to challenge shooters outside of his crease. However, he’s capable of easily getting back into position using his speed (92) and agility (92)
If it wasn’t for the Chicago Blackhawks, the LA Kings would be the most successful franchise of the 10s, and Quick is at the center of that success. Quick and Schneider played against each other often in college, Quick for UMA and Schneider for Boston College. Well, there must have been something in the water in Massachusetts because they’ve both become two of the premier netminders in the game. Of course, Quick has two Stanley Cups to his name. His Kings couldn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs this year, but he still managed to earn a Vezina nomination after one of the best seasons of his career. The only knock against Quick is that some of his numbers may be inflated by the vaunted defense of the LA Kings, a core lead by the superhuman Drew Doughty. At 93 overall, I think Quick is one notch above where he should be. He’s no Carey Price.
1. Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens: 93 Overall
The NHL’s best goaltender has a 93 angles rating and a 93 vision rating. Like Ben Bishop, he also has an 86 passing rating, the highest in the game for a goalie.
Carey Price is the most talented player to don a Montreal Canadien’s jersey since Guy Lafleur. Le Bleu, Blanc et Rouge may not be the same dominant club they were when Lafleur played for them, but they are set in goal as long as number 31 is on their payroll. In 2014-2015, Price not only won the Vezina but the Hart as well, being the first goalie to win the league MVP award since Jose Theodore in 2002. That year he proved what it means to be an MVP, taking a Habs team that had pitiful possession numbers all the way to the playoffs. Price missed most of the 2015-2016 season due to injury, and the Habs learned just how integral he was to their team, finishing 6th in a division they won the year before. Carey Price is a generational talent, and 93 overall is questionable. Price should be at least one notch above everyone.
So there you have it, NHL 17’s top goalies. NHL 17 hits shelves September 13 for Xbox One and PS4.