There have been some great goaltenders over the course of the league’s history, but only a handful can be regarded as one of the best NHL goalies of all-time. Stopping the world’s best goal scorers is a tough task, but the top NHL goaltenders have made it look easy at times.
Best NHL goalies of all-time
The toughest job in hockey is being the goalie. When they play well, nothing is said about them, while if they play badly, the blame is directed their way. An NHL goalie fights for their spot every single game, as a rough stretch can lead to a permanent backup role.
The goaltenders on this list have frustrated even the greatest goal scorers. They have racked up wins and shutouts at incredible rates and have maintained a starting job over the course of their long careers.
10. Ed Belfour
Ed Belfour played 963 games in his NHL career. He won 484 games in the league, which is the fifth most wins by a goalie in histroy.
Belfour began his career with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 1988-89 season. He won two Vezina Trophies with the team, which came in 1991 and 1993. He would then go on to spend time with the Sharks, Stars, Maple Leafs, and Panthers.
Belfour won his lone Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 where he posted a 1.67 goals-against average and had three shutouts in the playoffs. His 88 playoff wins are the sixth most in NHL history. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
9. Tony Esposito
Tony Esposito is not only the greatest Chicago Blackhawks goalie in history, but one of the best NHL goalies of all-time. He played 16 seasons in the NHL, 15 of which were spent with Chicago.
Esposito racked up 423 wins in his career, which is the 10th most of any goalie. His 418 wins with the Blackhawks are the most in franchise history. He had a save percentage of 0.906 in his career and sits tied for 10th all-time in shutouts with 76.
Esposito won the Vezina Trophy in 1970, 1972, and 1974. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and was on the 100 Greatest NHL Players list in 2017.
8. Bernie Parent
Bernie Parent spent 13 seasons in the NHL. He has a career record of 271 wins, 198 losses, and 119 ties.
Although he spent time with the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, Parent is best known for being one of the top NHL goaltenders in Flyers history. He holds the franchise record for shutouts with 50 and won two Vezina Trophies with the team in 1974 and 1975.
Parent helped lead the team to back-to-back Stanley Cup victories in 1974 and 1975. He had six shutouts combined in those two playoff runs, which led him to receive the Conn Smythe Trophy both times.
7. Glenn Hall
Glenn Hall played in 906 NHL games during his 18-year career. He spent four seasons each with the Red Wings and Blues and spent 10 seasons with the Blackhawks.
He was a big reason why the Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 1961. Hall posted a goals-against-average of 2.02 and had a save percentage of 0.937 during the playoff run.
Hall would go on to win three Vezina Trophies during his career. He is also one of only five players to win the Conn Smythe Trophy after losing in the Stanley Cup Final, which came in 1968 with the St. Louis Blues.
6. Terry Sawchuk
Terry Sawchuk was between the pipes for 971 games in the NHL, which is the fourth most all-time. One of the best NHL goaltenders ever, Sawchuk sits 8th all-time in wins with 445.
Sawchuk played for five different teams during his time in the league, although he did spend 14 of his 21 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. He holds the franchise record for wins with 350, shutouts with 85, and games played with 734. He helped lead the Red Wings to three Stanley Cups during the 1950s.
In addition to winning three Cups in Detroit, Sawchuk helped the Maple Leafs win their most recent Stanley Cup in 1967.
5. Ken Dryden
Ken Dryden only played in the NHL for eight seasons but is still regarded as one of the best NHL goalies of all-time. He finished with a career record of 258 wins, 57 losses, and 74 ties.
He spent his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal made the playoffs all eight seasons with Dryden, as his 80 playoff wins are the 7th most in league history. Dryden won the Stanley Cup six times, winning four consecutively from 1976 to 1979.
Dryden is a five-time Vezina Trophy winner. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.
4. Jacques Plante
Jacques Plante played in the NHL for 18 seasons with five different teams. 11 of those seasons were spent with the Montreal Canadiens.
Plante holds the record for most Vezina Trophies with seven. He won six of them with the Canadiens and one with the St. Louis Blues. Plante is a six-time Stanley Cup champion, all of which came with Montreal.
Plante played in 112 playoff games in his career and sits 10th all-time with 71 playoff victories. He has a career goals-against average of 2.38 and has 82 shutouts. His 14 postseason shutouts are the 7th most by any goaltender in NHL history.
3. Patrick Roy
One of the best NHL goalies of all-time, Patrick Roy is near the top of almost every goaltender record there is.
Roy sits second all-time in wins and playoff shutouts and sits third all-time in games played. He is also the winningest playoff goaltender in NHL history with 151 victories. Roy spent 19 seasons in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche. He won two Stanley Cups with each team and is the only player to win three Conn Smythe Trophies.
Roy’s jersey number is retired in both Montreal and Colorado. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.
2. Martin Brodeur
The winningest goaltender in NHL history, Martin Brodeur is one of the most successful and greatest NHL goalies of all-time.
Brodeur played a record 1266 games in the NHL across 22 seasons. He played all but seven games with the New Jersey Devils. Brodeur has a career record of 691 wins, 397 losses, 105 ties, and 49 overtime losses. He has the most shutouts of all time and sits second in postseason wins and games played.
Brodeur won the Stanley Cup three times with the Devils in 1995, 2000, and 2003. He also won the Vezina Trophy four times and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018.
1. Dominik Hasek
Dominik Hasek, who was drafted 199th overall in 1983, turned out to be one of the best NHL goalies of all-time.
He played 16 seasons in the NHL with four different teams but is most remembered for his time with the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings. Hasek won the Vezina Trophy six times with the Sabres, which is the second-most all time. He played a key role in Detroit’s 2002 Stanley Cup victory, as he went on record six shutouts in 23 playoff games that year.
Hasek finished his career with a 0.922 save percentage, which is the best save percentage of any goaltender in NHL history. He also sits 8th all-time with a goals-against-average of 2.20. Hasek is a two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014 and had his jersey retired by the Buffalo Sabres in 2015.