man wearing green and white ice hockey jersey while playing

The NHL draft is an annual event where teams from the National Hockey League select amateur players to join their organization. The draft was held in 1963 and has been held every year since. Over the years, some incredible goaltenders have been in the NHL Draft.

NHL History

The National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and seven in Canada. The NHL is considered the premier professional ice hockey league in the world and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.

The National Hockey League was founded in 1917 as the successor to the National Hockey Association (NHA). After a series of disputes with Eddie Livingstone, the owner of the Toronto Blueshirts, the governors of the NHA resigned and formed a new league, the NHL. The first Stanley Cup was awarded to the Montreal Canadiens in 1915. After a series of mergers and folds, including the absorption of the Vancouver Millionaires and the Ottawa Senators, only six teams remained in the league by 1926: the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. The original sox teams have remained constant throughout the league’s history though there have been several expansions and relocations. 

Greatest Goalies in NHL Draft All Time

The NHL Draft has been a breeding ground for some of the greatest goalies in complete NHL statistics. Here are five of those that were drafted into the NHL and went on to have stellar careers.

1. Dominik Hasek

Dominik Hasek was drafted 199th overall in 1983. He is the only goaltender to face the most shots per sixty minutes while also leading the league in saves. Hasek played 16 seasons in the NHL with four teams but is most remembered for his time with the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings.

Hasek is considered one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. He was a six-time Vezina Trophy winner, a two-time Hart Trophy winner, and a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Hasek’s unique style of play, often compared to that of an acrobat, revolutionized the position and has been copied by many goaltenders who have come after him. 

2. Patrick Roy

Roy was born in Quebec City and named one of the “100 Greatest NHL Players” in history. He is a professional ice hockey goaltender and current head coach of the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is considered one of the greatest goaltenders of all time.

Roy was drafted 51st overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He started his career with the Sherbrooke Canadiens of the American Hockey League (AHL), winning the Calder Memorial Trophy as the AHL’s top rookie in 1985. Roy joined the NHL Canadiens, winning consecutive Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1987. In 1989, he was traded to the Colorado Avalanche, where he won another Stanley Cup in 1996. During his career, Roy won four Stanley Cups, three Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP, and the 1989–90 Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender. He ranks first in NHL history for career regular-season wins (551), playoff wins (151), and shutouts (66). 

3. Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur is one of the most successful goaltenders in NHL history. He played a record 1266 games in the NHL across 22 seasons and is the only goaltender to have won three Stanley Cups in a row. He also holds the records for most shutouts (125) and most wins in a season (48).

Brodeur began his NHL career with the New Jersey Devils in 1992 and quickly established himself as one of the league’s top goaltenders. He helped lead the Devils to their first Stanley Cup championship in 1995 and was named the playoff MVP. He would win two more Stanley Cups with the Devil in 2000 and 2003.

Martin Brodeur is considered one of the best goaltenders of all time. The New Jersey Devils were drafted 20th overall in the first round of the 1990 NHL draft. Brodeur played his entire 21-year NHL career with the Devils, winning three Stanley Cups and setting numerous league records. He is the NHL’s all-time leader in wins and shutouts.

4. Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo is a professional ice hockey goalie who currently plays for the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League (NHL). He has also played for the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins. Luongo is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a four-time Vezina Trophy finalist. He ranks second all-time in NHL history in wins, behind only Martin Brodeur.

Luongo began his junior career with the Val d’Or Foreurs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). He was selected fourth overall by the New York Islanders in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. After being traded to the Canucks in 2006, he emerged as one of the league’s best goaltenders, winning the William M. Jennings Trophy in 2011 and becoming a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist. He also served as the Canucks’ captain from 2008 to 2013.

Luongo represented Canada at numerous international tournaments. He won back-to-back World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2000 and was named the tournament’s best goaltender. He also won a gold medal at the 2004 World Championship and a silver medal at the 2005 World Championship.

5. Ken Dryden

Ken Dryden is a former professional ice hockey player, lawyer, businessman, author, and politician. He played goalie for the Montreal Canadiens from 1971 to 1979, winning six Stanley Cups. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalies of all time. After he retired from playing, he became a lawyer and entered politics. He served as the Liberal Member of Parliament for York Centre in Ontario from 2004 to 2011. He has also written several books, most notably The Game and Home Game. Ken Dryden was born in Hamilton, Ontario, on August 8, 1947. He began playing organized hockey and later played junior hockey for the Hamilton Red Wings of the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA). In 1967, he joined the Cornell University hockey team and helped lead them to the NCAA championship in 1970. He turned professional after graduating from Cornell and was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 1971 NHL Entry Draft. Dryden made his NHL debut that same year and won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. He quickly established himself as one of the best goalies in the league, winning the Vezina Trophy six times in eight seasons. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP twice and was a five-time First Team All-Star.