In every major team sport around the world, there is always one player/position that is considered to be the most important when it comes to winning games and championships. In soccer, the most important player is the forward, in football and baseball, it is traditionally the quarterback and starting pitcher respectively; and in hockey, the most important player on the team is often times the goalie. In hockey, the main role of the forwards is to score, while the defensemen are supposed to keep the puck away from their team’s net while also trying to provide some extra offense; but the goalie’s job is the simplest and most important: block the puck from entering the net.
The way a goalie performs on a given night, whether it is good or bad, is what often decides the outcome of a game, but even though they are primarily meant to stop the opposing team from scoring, they are also capable of scoring points as well. A point in hockey, comes from either scoring a goal, or being one of the two primary players who assisted in a goal being scored, and there are many goaltenders who have scored an impressive amount of points considering the position they play. Here is a list of the top 15 goalies with the most points all time.
15 Andy Moog - 24
The 1980s saw two dynasty teams basically rule the NHL for the entire decade, with the New York Islanders winning four consecutive Stanley Cups, and the Edmonton Oilers winning four of their own. Andy Moog was drafted by Edmonton in 1980 with the 132nd pick, and despite starting out as their third-string goaltender, he ended up becoming a Cup champion multiple times with the team. By the time the 1982-83 playoffs came around, the Oilers named Moog their starting goalie, and he helped to bring Edmonton to their first Cup Final, which they ultimately lost to the Islanders. The following four seasons saw Moog serve as Edmonton’s backup goalie behind new starter Grant Fuhr, and in all those seasons, he won over 20 games for the team. In all, Moog won three Stanley Cups and spent a combined seven seasons with Edmonton, and he would also play for Boston, Dallas, and Montreal, and in all that time, he accumulated 24 points.
14 Mike Palmateer - 25
The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the NHL’s original six franchises, and the fact that they have not won a championship in nearly 50 years does not diminish the fact that they have had some good goalies play for them since their last Stanley Cup win. Mike Palmateer was one of these goalies, and he was drafted by Toronto in 1974 with the 85th pick, and he would ultimately spend six out of his eight NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs (the other two seasons coming with Washington). By the time his career was over, Palmateer had played in 356 NHL games, earning 149 wins, 132 losses, and 52 ties; he also sported a 3.53 goals against average, which is a quite modest number considering the era in which he played. He may have never helped Toronto or Washington win a Stanley Cup, but between both teams he scored 25 points.
13 Tony Esposito - 25
Tony Esposito is a Hall of Fame goaltender who also happens to be the younger brother of fellow Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, and he spent a combined sixteen seasons in the NHL. His professional career started in 1967 when he played for the Western Hockey League, but it was not until the following year that he debuted in the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens; and it was a well-timed debut, as Montreal went on to win the Cup that season. The following season (1969-1970), saw Esposito join the Chicago Blackhawks, the team with which he spent the last fifteen seasons of his career, and the team that he had most of his success with. When Esposito decided to retire after the 1984 season, he earned over 400 NHL wins, 76 shutouts, a 2.92 goals against average, a .906 save percentage, and he also managed to score a total of 25 points.
12 Kari Lehtonen - 27
Of all the goalies on this list, Kari Lehtonen is the only one who is still currently playing in the NHL. He started his professional career by playing in the Finnish Elite League, where he put up some great numbers, and it was not until the 2003-2004 season that he made his NHL debut after being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers that same offseason. Lehtonen spent the first five seasons of his NHL career with Atlanta, primarily as their number one goalie, where he helped the Thrashers to make the playoffs for the first time in the franchise’s history. In the 2010-2011 season, he was traded to the Dallas Stars, the team with which he continues to play for today, and for most of that time, he served as the Stars’ main goaltender as well. Between both teams, Lehtonen as of now has 273 wins and 37 shutouts, which go well with the 27 points he has also scored.
11 Sean Burke - 28
In nearly every sport, there are at least a handful of players who are considered to be “journeymen”, which means they are useful players, who just happen to play for many teams over their careers; and Sean Burke qualifies as one of these journeymen. Burke was taken in the first round of the 1985 draft by the New Jersey Devils, the team that he spent his first four NHL seasons with. In 1991-1992, he moved on to the Hartford Whalers, and stayed with them until the 97-98 season when he was traded to Vancouver; that same year, he was also traded to Philadelphia. By the time his 18 year career was over, Burke would go on to also play for Florida, Phoenix, Tampa Bay, and the Los Angeles Kings; and in all that time, he never won a Stanley Cup, but what he did do was score a combined 28 points between all those teams.
10 Dan Bouchard - 29
Before the Calgary Flames were actually located in Calgary, the franchise first played in the city of Atlanta where they were also known as the Flames. Dan Bouchard was initially taken by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 1970 draft, but when Atlanta entered into the NHL in 1982, he was claimed by the Flames in the expansion draft. He played for the Flames franchise for eight seasons, but during the 1980-81 season Bouchard was traded to the Quebec Nordiques, where he had the best four seasons of his career, which included multiple playoff appearances. When his time was up with Quebec, Bouchard played one last season with the Winnipeg Jets, bringing his full career to a grand total of 14 NHL seasons. In that long career with those three teams, he managed to win nearly 300 games, earn almost 30 shutouts, and he scored 27 points.
9 Curtis Joseph - 31
Curtis Joseph can also be considered as a journeyman, as he ended up playing for six different NHL teams throughout the span of his 19 year career. Joseph entered the league as an undrafted goalie when the St. Louis Blues signed him to a contract in 1989, after seeing his stellar play with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He played with the Blues for the first six years of his career, before being traded to Edmonton in 1995, where he spent three seasons until signing with Toronto. Joseph’s career would also see him play for Detroit, Phoenix, and Calgary, and unfortunately for him, he did not win a single Stanley Cup with any of those teams, which currently makes him the only goalie in league history to have 400 or more wins without a Cup to show for it. He is also the first goalie to have won at least 30 games with five different teams, but he also scored 31 points between all those teams as well.
8 Ron Hextall - 33
In 1982, the Philadelphia Flyers drafted Ron Hextall with the 119th pick, and he served as their number one goalie for most of his combined eleven seasons with the team. His first stint with the Flyers lasted for six seasons, which saw him help lead the team into the playoffs three times. During the 1992 offseason, Philadelphia traded Hextall to Quebec (the infamous Eric Lindros trade), where he played for one season until he was traded to the Islanders, but after playing a full season with them, he was once again traded, but this time back to Philadelphia. His last five seasons with the Flyers saw him bring the team into the playoffs another four times, and when he retired in 1999, he did so with almost 300 career wins under his belt. Hextall, despite spending two seasons away, is considered to be a lifelong Flyer, especially now that he serves as the team’s General Manager, but aside from that accolade, he also scored a total 33 points in the league, including one goal and 32 assists.
7 Ed Belfour - 34
Like Curtis Joseph, Ed Belfour was never drafted into the NHL, he was instead signed as a free agent by a team who saw how well he played at the college level. The team which brought him into the league was the Chicago Blackhawks, and from 1988-1997 he primarily served as the team’s number one goalie, winning the rookie of the year award, and two Vezina trophies in that timeframe. In 1997, Belfour signed with San Jose, but quickly left for Dallas that same year, where he played for five seasons, and helped lead the Stars to a Stanley Cup Championship in 1999; then, in 2002, he signed with the Maple Leafs where he spent another four seasons before ending his NHL career with the Florida Panthers. When it was all said and done, Belfour played for 17 seasons, and he currently has the third most goalie wins in league history, and the fact that he scored 34 points just helps to bolster his Hall of Fame career.
6 John Vanbiesbrouck - 38
The New York Rangers happen to be another one of the NHL’s original six teams, which therefore means that they have possessed many goalies over the decades, and John Vanbiesbrouck was one of them. The Rangers drafted him in 1981 with the 72nd pick, and he started to play for them almost immediately, and continued to play for them for eleven seasons. In 1994, he ended up being traded to Florida where he spent another five seasons before signing with Philadelphia for three years. In his third year with the Flyers, he was traded to the Islanders where he played for one full season before signing his final contract of two years with the New Jersey Devils. Combined, Vanbiesbrouck played for 20 seasons in the NHL, mostly as a number one goalie, and despite never winning a Stanley Cup, he won almost 400 games, and managed to score 38 points.
5 Mike Vernon - 39
Mike Vernon is a Hall of Fame goalie who managed to play 19 seasons in the NHL, with a combined 13 of those seasons being spent with the Calgary Flames. The Flames selected Vernon 56th overall in 1981, and by the 1985-86 season, he became the team’s starting goalie, where he helped to lead Calgary into the playoffs eight times which included a Stanley Cup Championship in 1989. Despite his accomplishments with the team, Calgary traded Vernon in 1994 to the Detroit Red Wings, who he ended up playing three seasons with, including the 1997 season which saw him win his second cup. Despite leading them to a championship, Detroit traded him to San Jose the following year, and he stayed with the Sharks until 1999 when he was traded to Florida. In 2000 though, he was traded for final time back to Calgary where he spent the last two years of his career, and when his career was done, he had managed to score 39 points between all those teams.
4 Patrick Roy - 45
Patrick Roy is considered by many as being one of the two best goalies to have ever played in the NHL, and that belief is absolutely justifiable. Roy was taken by the Montreal Canadiens 51st overall in the 1984 draft, and he ultimately spent parts of eleven straight seasons with Montreal where he practically spent his entire time serving as their number one goalie, and helped to lead them into the playoffs eight times, which included winning two Stanley Cups in 1986 and 1993. In the middle of the 1995-96 season, Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche after a massive rift occurred between him and Montreal because of the head coach that he did not get along with, who purposely humiliated Roy by keeping him in net during one of his worst games ever. Roy helped to lead Colorado into the playoffs all eight seasons he was there, and he ended up winning another two Cups in 1996 and 2001. When he retired, Roy had won 551 games and scored 45 points.
3 Grant Fuhr - 46
As mentioned earlier, the Edmonton Oilers were a dominant force throughout the 1980s, which should come as no surprise considering they had players like Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, but Grant Fuhr was also an important piece for the team. The Oilers picked Fuhr 8th overall in the 1981 draft, and after the 1983 season, he became their unanimous number one goalie. He spent a total of 10 seasons with Edmonton, making it into the playoffs nine of those seasons and winning five Stanley Cups. In 1991, he was traded to Toronto and played there for nearly two years before getting traded again to Buffalo where he played for nearly three years before being traded to Los Angeles. After a few months with L.A. Fuhr signed with St. Louis where he spent another four seasons, before being traded for the last time to Calgary in 1999. When Fuhr finally retired after nearly 20 seasons, he did so as a first ballot Hall of Famer who had also scored 46 points.
2 Martin Brodeur - 47
Like Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur is considered to be one of the two best goalies to have ever played in the NHL, which is fully justifiable considering that he owns twenty separate goaltending records including most wins all time, most shutouts, most saves, and being the only goalie to score two goals, including one game winner. Brodeur was drafted by the New Jersey Devils 20th overall in 1990, and he would ultimately play parts of 22 seasons in the NHL, with 21 of those seasons coming with the Devils. While with New Jersey, he won the award for best goalie five times, and he helped the team make it into the playoffs 16 different seasons, which paid off in three Stanley Cup Championships in 1995, 2000, and 2003. In 2014, Brodeur left New Jersey as he wanted to continue playing at 42 years old, and signed with St. Louis, but his stint with the Blues lasted for only about a month as he decided to retire; and when he retired, he did so with 47 points.
1 Tom Barrasso - 48
In 1983, The Buffalo Sabres selected Tom Barrasso 5th overall, and for parts of his first six seasons in the NHL he was their number one goalie and helped them make the playoffs three times. During the 1988-89 season, Buffalo traded Barrasso to Pittsburgh, where he served as their top goalie for the better part of 11 seasons which culminated in nine playoff appearances and back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992. In the 2000 season, the Penguins traded Barrasso to the Ottawa Senators, and he would go on to finish the last three years of his career playing for Carolina, Toronto, and St. Louis. When he retired in 2003, he did so with 369 career wins, 38 shutouts, and a 3.24 goals against average; and even though he is currently not a member of the Hall of Fame, his body of work, which includes having scored 48 points, will surely get him in one day.