Wild West: Goaltending Tiers from Saros to Grubauer

Grant Campbell

2022-09-12

As Brennan Des looked at the different tiers of goaltending in the Eastern Conference last week, we will do the same for the Western Conference this week. Just a reminder that these tiers are subjective and meant as a guide to help you for fantasy purposes, not necessarily the level of skill of each goalie. 

Tier 1A

No one – I don't think there is anyone in the West who measures up to Andrei Vasilevskiy or Igor Shesterkin. They are elite goalies who can play 65-70 games and churn out 35-40 wins every season. Saros has done it for one year and if he does it again this season, we will re-visit next year. The same holds true for Markstrom and Demko.

Tier 1B

Juuse Saros – Nashville Predators – I must admit that I was a little skeptical of Saros and his ability to play more than 40 games in a season and play well. He converted me into a believer last year when he played 67 games and had 38 wins, a 91.8 save percentage and his second consecutive season with a GSAA (goals saved above average) over 20. He's the real deal and just a bit above the rest in the West.

Tier 2

Connor Hellebuyck – Winnipeg Jets – The great thing about Hellebuyck is that you know if healthy he is going to play 60-65 games next season. He might not duplicate his 2017-18 season when he played 67 games and had 44 wins but he should get 30-35 wins next year. His GSAA of 7.42 was the lowest he has had since 2016-17. He would be tier one if Winnipeg was a better team.

Jacob Markstrom – Calgary Flames – Markstrom played a career-high 63 games last year and had 37 wins, a 92.2 save percentage and a GSAA of 26.12. He had a phenomenal year but he has an injury and getting fatigued history. I've said this many times, but the Flames should limit him to 50-55 games a year to get the most out of him over the season. I think he's a lock for 30-35 wins next year.

Thatcher Demko – Vancouver Canucks – Demko had never played more than 35 games in a year before playing 64 last season. He did tire a little towards the end of the season but was still able to get 33 wins, a 91.5 save percentage and put up a GSAA of 14.93. I think the Canucks will try to limit him to 55-60 games next year, but