Semyon Varlamov did not make it on NHL.com’s top-16 goalies. Was the New York Islanders goalie snubbed off of this list?
Yesterday, NHL.com came out with their rankings of the top-16 goalies in the NHL. On this list we don’t find Semyon Varlamov, the Islanders starting goalie from the 2019-2020 season and projected starter going into 2021.
What I wanted to try to do was see if Varly was snubbed or if not being in the top-16 was fair for him. He had a .914 save percentage and a 2.62 goals against average in 45 games to go along with a 19-14-6 record.
After a hot start, he slowed down in the second half of the season when the Isles were banged up with injuries in January through the close of the regular season. Looking at his regular season numbers they were fairly okay.
His .914 save percentage was 23rd in the NHL with his goals against average coming in at 16th in the league. All things considered, Varlamov ended up finishing in 17th, so right on the outside looking in.
Of the 13 writers who voted, only Brian Compton (10th), Dan Rosen (10th), and David Satriano (12th) had him on their list.
Now, Varlamov was much better in the playoffs last season putting up a .921 save percentage and a 2.14 goals against average. It doesn’t say if playoffs are factored in or not but it also screams of a popularity contest.
After how Sergei Bobrovsky and Braden Holtby played last year, neither of those two should be that high on the list. I’m not saying that Varlamov is a sure-fire top-10 goalie, I think that’s probably a stretch.
If I were doing my own list I’d probably have him somewhere in the 14-16 range. Something to note, by the time the season comes to a close there’s a real chance they can have someone else on their roster in the top-16 goalies, Ilya Sorokin.
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So to answer my own question, no I don’t think Varlamov was a massive snub. 17th is probably a touch low, but nothing to go nuts about. He’s a middle of the pack goalie, which is pretty much where he came in.