2016 Outlook: Plain and simple, there isn't another goaltender at quite the same level of Carey Price heading into this fantasy season. He easily led the NHL in wins, goals against average and save percentage -- the three goalie categories we care about most in fantasy hockey. The 28-year-old has been building toward this dominance for several seasons now and is primed to remain in that upper echelon. It will be a surprise to see anyone other than Price lead the way in the goaltending statistics once again.
2016 Outlook: Injury cut into Henrik Lundqvist's workload significantly last season, but by all means, he remains King Lundqvist. His goals against average was eighth-best in the NHL and he was tied for 10th in save percentage. That's typical Lundqvist productivity and, barring another injury, will help him remain a top-five goaltender in fantasy for another season. Antti Raanta won't eat into his starting time anymore than any other backup has, leaving Lundqvist in line to start 65-plus games. He doesn't have flashy upside like some other top-tier goaltenders, but consistency is what you want when it comes to the crease and you know Lundqvist won't be a bust.
2016 Outlook: Given the chance to establish himself as the No. 1 for the Washington Capitals, Braden Holtby more than stepped up to the plate. Turning in 41 wins, a 2.22 goals against average and .923 save percentage, the 26-year-old was better than the Capitals even hoped for. A new focus on defense certainly helped the Capitals, starting with the influx of responsible defensemen like Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen. That trend continues with the departure of Mike Green this season. Holtby may not repeat such gaudy numbers, but he could. Given his decent chances of repeating success and the fact the wins will be there either way, Holtby is a safe bet as a top-10 fantasy goaltender. Holtby will be a workhorse again and start in the ballpark of 70 games, after his league-leading 72 starts last year.
2016 Outlook: The Predators are pledging to curb Rinne's workload in 2015-16, meaning between 60 and 65 starts. We're A-Okay with that strategy. Part of the cream of the fantasy goaltending crop, Rinne ranks in step with Henrik Lundqvist and Braden Holtby, just a hair behind Vezina winner Carey Price. His 2.18 goals against ranked third in the league, and he plays behind one of the NHL's best defensive groups.
2016 Outlook: So was that unforeseen, campaign-altering run a fluke last winter? Nah. Not entirely, anyway. Dubnyk put in solid performances for the Coyotes before the mid-season trade brought him to Minnesota. The six-year vet was finally offered a shot on a competent defensive team, after years with the Oilers, and he made the most of it. His 0.929 save percentage and 2.07 goals against ranked second in the league behind only Carey Price, earning him Vezina-finalist honors.
2016 Outlook: There is potential for improvement, following a relatively poor showing for Bobrovsky in the 2014-15 season. His .918 save percentage was still good enough for fantasy hockey owners, but a 2.68 goals against average had Bobrovsky closer to Jonathan Bernier than most owners want their fantasy goaltending ratios to be. The good news is that the save percentage is the statistic more driven by the goaltender's skill of the two ratios and the fact that Bobrovsky remained decent in that category hints at a return to fantasy production, especially with Columbus expected to improve this year. Perhaps the injuries just prevented Bobrovsky from getting into a groove, missing time in each of the past two seasons. After all, he has shown a heavy tendency to pad his stats with great stretches in the crease. A healthy Bobrovsky is a top 10 goalie, but hedge your bets against injury.
2016 Outlook: For a guy that consistently comes close to 40 wins and has respectable -- if unspectacular -- numbers, Fleury gets a bit of a bad rap. Playing for a team that is more interested in scoring goals than stopping them isn't an assignment for everyone, and Fleury has done a pretty good job with it. Sure his goals against average and save percentage will be middling when compared to the rest of the league, but his final numbers will play him out as a top 10 fantasy goaltender. The trouble with Fleury is that there isn't a whole heck of a lot of upside to his game. The Penguins aren't changing their feathers this season and will still be looking to outscore opponents more often than stifling them, and their defense might even be worse this season than last, despite Olli Maatta returning. Fleury is also a better goaltender for rotisserie leagues than head-to-head, as his final numbers are solid, but he tends to run hot and cold. Still, you could do much worse than Flower.
2016 Outlook: With a deep, talented roster in front of him, Bishop can turn his good -- not great -- numbers into buckets of wins. In fact, only Carey Price has more during the past two seasons. While Bishop's goals against average was 15th in the NHL and his save percentage wasn't even top 20, the Lightning won games in front of him. While Andrei Vasilevskiy looked like he would be a threat to drop Bishop's starts below the 60 games threshold, surgery to remove a blood clot will keep him out for at least the first two months of the season. That should give Bishop enough of a head start to repeat his success in Tampa Bay for a third season. And that will mean Bishop is a low-tier No. 1 goaltender in fantasy thanks to the wins. Keeper leagues will want to consider pulling the chute on Bishop this season though, as Vasilevskiy is waiting in the wings to challenge for the job on a permanent basis. In fact, even despite his absence at the start of the season, Vasilevskiy is worth handcuffing to Bishop in deeper leagues.
2016 Outlook: Varlamov was superb in 2013-14 and still pretty good last season despite his club's overall struggles. Offseason additions in size and grit department, particularly with a greater focus on puck possession in mind, should help the Avs' No. 1 enjoy numbers more reminiscent of 2013-14 (chiefly in applying to W's).
2016 Outlook: The Los Angeles Kings allowed the least number of shots in 2014-15, which works both for and against Quick as a fantasy netminder. While those plump .950-plus save-percentages are tougher to come by, fewer shots-against (logically) translates into more wins. As you would expect, Quick's goals against was sixth in the NHL, but his .918 save percentage was middle of the road. A nice bonus of taking Quick is the usage. You can bank on an exceptional quantity of appearances from the Kings' No. 1; only Washington's Braden Holtby played more minutes last season.
2016 Outlook: If only Cory Schneider could also score a few goals, he'd arguably be top five among fantasy goaltenders. Alas, all he can do is be very, very good at stopping goals from being scored, which leaves him at the low-end of the fantasy goaltender top 10. The losing record he will almost surely have will limit his overall fantasy value, but Schneider remained one of the busiest and most proficient puck stoppers in the NHL last season. His .925 save percentage was fifth in the NHL and his 2.26 goals against average was tied for ninth. Two out of three fantasy categories isn't bad, but without the wins, Schneider isn't the complete package. Don't let that lack of victories dissuade you from selecting Schneider for your team, however. The massive number of elite minutes that Schneider plays can go a long way to padding your ratios as you look for wins from goaltenders that aren't quite his quality.
2016 Outlook: His ratios may be in the middle of the road for goaltenders, but Halak is a win machine. The unquestioned No. 1 for an improving New York Islanders squad should be in line for his first 40-win season if things go as expected. His workload probably won't increase much with a capable Thomas Greiss ready to step in, but it won't shrink much either. Used on a fantasy hockey team in tandem with an elite ratios goaltender, Halak will have peak value. Just try to remember that a lot of goaltenders will do better in goals against average and save percentage -- Halak ranked 23rd in the NHL in both categories last season.
2016 Outlook: With the departure of Johnny Boychuk before last season and the sequential degrade in Boston's defense in front of Rask, the top-tier goaltender's numbers took a bit of a hit. Now Dougie Hamilton is parting ways and Zdeno Chara is another year into his decline. That said, the Bruins as a whole will have to play better defense since their offense isn't what it once was. Rask is still the workhorse here -- with zero threats to his starting job in Jeremy Smith or Malcolm Subban or whoever. Last year's subpar goals against average (2.30) was a touch out of line with his still relatively elite save percentage (.922), so his overall numbers should improve in the coming season. Only Braden Holtby saw more pucks thrown his way last season, which means Smith or Subban stepping up to spell Rask more often would likely benefit. Rask had a terrible 2.75 GAA and was 1-6-2 in nine games played as the second of back-to-back contests last season.
2016 Outlook: If Steve Mason had stayed healthy all season and started a bit stronger, he could have been a top 10 -- perhaps even top five -- fantasy goaltender last season. His numbers as the starter for the Philadelphia Flyers were that good. Mason was third in the NHL in save percentage and seventh in goals against average last season. It was his 18-18-11 record and missed time in February that held him back -- though the ugly five starts in October didn't help either. The point here is that Mason is a goaltender who may be obtainable this season as a No. 2 fantasy goaltender, but is going to finish as a No. 1. The Flyers have a strong defensive group and a top-heavy but serviceable offense in front of Mason, so he should have a shot at 30 wins this campaign. Injuries have plagued Mason throughout his career, but he's managed to play in at least 50 games in each of the past two seasons.
2016 Outlook: With veteran Brian Elliott breathing down his neck, Allen must perform to a high level if he wants to keep a firm grip on the Blues' starting job. As we've witnessed before, this pressure can take a goalie in one of two very different directions. One of which isn't pretty. Sure, he's been great, but Allen's NHL resume remains limited. Consider this season a weighty test for the 25-year-old. The solid corps playing in front of him should help.