If the NHL has taught us anything about goalies over the past few seasons, it’s that being an NHL number one goalie is tough. You can probably count on one hand, if you are being generous, the number of goalies you know will be bonafide number one’s next year. By that, I mean that their job is totally safe, they will get the lion’s share of their starts and do well in them. Off the top of my head, I’d say Andrei Vasilevskiy, Connor Hellebuyck, Igor Shestyorkin, Philip Grubauer, Carter Hart (yes, I expect him to do well next year) and I’d say you could put Jusse Saros and Tristian Jarry in that category right now. This is not to say that Marc-Andre Fleury, Robin Lehner, Semyon Varlamov, Ilya Sorokin, Tuuka Rask, Jordan Binnington, and Carey Price or not as talented or more than some in that first category but they all have competition in their crease. The average age of the goalies in the first category I named was also 25, NHL GMs are clearly not afraid to throw a goalie the keys early on in their career and NHL goalie prospects are making the leap at a young age.
We’ve seen starting jobs long-held like Carey Price, potentially going the way of Jake Allen for stretches of the season, or Jack Campbell stealing the crease from Freddy Andersen. We’ve also seen goalies fresh off a long-term contract commitment such as Sergei Bobrovsky and Jordan Binnington fall off the wagon at points to open up opportunities for Chris Dreiger, Spencer Knight, and Ville Husso. We see tandems that can go either way such as Alex Nedjelkovic and Petr Mrazek or Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo. We’ve se