When I was a kid and collected hockey cards, it seemed liked everyone always wanted to get the goalie cards. They were always a hot commodity, especially cards that featured the goalie mask that the particular goalie was wearing. Back in the seventies and eighties, prior to the new modern masks that goaltenders wear today, there were some pretty awesome designs. We highlighted a few in our Top 20 Goalie Masks of All-Time piece from a while back.
Today, NHL goalies tend to have a couple of different masks. Some have special home and away masks, some have masks created for when their team wear their third jersey or reverse retro jerseys, and for the most part the paint jobs on the masks are off the wall awesome.
We thought it would be fun to examine (and rank) our favourite modern-day goalie masks. When we say modern day we mean masks from the past couple of seasons. With 32 teams in the league, not to mention third stringers, that is upwards of nearly 100 different goalie masks to choose from.
Caveat: Paint jobs can change quick so not all of the masks featured in our list may be current.
Top 30 NHL Goalie Masks: 2023 Edition
Here is a look at some of the best designed goalie masks for the past couple of seasons. Before we get into our list, there are a couple of honorable mentions.
Logan Thompson – Vegas Golden Knights. A simple yet effective design that features the teams colours and the Vegas “V” and Thompson’s number thirty-six on the chin.
Jusse Saros – Nashville Predators. This one is a little busy… maybe a little too busy as some would say.
Spencer Knight – Florida Panthers. Ahh the glorious Panther mask. Great logo. Knight features the Panthers logo on the top and his number 30 on the chin. Classic design.
Craig Anderson – Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres have pretty cool unforms and colours. Anderson incorporates this well into his mask with a retro-looking buffalo logo and two colour combo on his mask that features his number 41 on the chin.
Ok so let’s get to our list:
#30. Karel Vejmelka – Arizona Coyotes. You can’t go wrong with the classic Coyotes logo. Vejmelka’s mask even sneaks in a cool version of the Arizona state flag as well.
#29. Jake Ottinger – Dallas Stars. Ottinger’s mask incorporated the cool Stars logo of the team and includes an appearance of the golfing otter.
#28. Jordan Binnington – St. Louis Blues. The Yin-Yang mask. It’s been a tale of two seasons for Binnington this season. His Yin and Yang mask was created to depict his personality and featured a cartoon Buddha. More on this mask.
#27. Jack Campbell – Edmonton Oilers. Campbell’s oilers mask is simple in design with the oil drops up top and “OILERS” with striping down the side of the mask.
#26. Sergei Bobrovsky – Florida Panthers. Another cool Panther mask. We liked this one a bit more than Spencer’s knights version as Bob’s seemed to pop a little more.
#25. Ville Husso – Detroit Red Wings. Is that Greg Stefan? A classic looking Wings mask with the winged wheel in the beautiful red and white red wings colours.
#24. Carter Hart – Philadelphia Flyers. Hart always has cool tribute masks. He has a version that pays tribute to late Flyers goalie Ray Emery, and his most recent version is a Foo Fighters tribute mask that features Dave Grohl and late drummer Taylor Hawkins.
#23. Tristan Jarry – Pittsburgh Penguins – Tough to go wrong with the Penguins mask when you have a great colour scheme and a Penguin for a logo. The black and gold pops and the large Penguins logo just looks amazing!
#22. Jeremy Swayman – Boston Bruins. A blast from the past you might say as Swayman’s mask looks like something Michael Dion was wearing in the ‘80’s as a member of the Penguins. Simple but effective.
#21. Darcy Kuemper – Washington Capitals. While Kuemper also has a “Godzilla” mask that pays tribute to ex-Caps goalie Olaf Kolzig, we like his regular cage which looks great with the red, blue and white team colors, flying eagle and stars. It’s a nice clean look. Another mask painted by David Gunnarsson.
#20. Filip Gustavsson – Minnesota Wild. The Wild have a great colour combination and Gustavsson incorporates the Wilds’ colour scheme well into his goalie mask which leverages the great Minnesota Wild logo. A classic.
#19. Joonas Korpisalo – Columbus Blue Jackets. A real classic look and feel with Korpisalo’s mask. It looks like something goaltenders in the seventies and the eighties would have worn. Of course, it features a canon which just adds to the greatness of this mask.
#18. Pavel Francouz – Colorado Avalanche. Melting Snow Mask. Looks like perspiration but could that be melting snow on Francouz’s mask which features the classic Avalanche logo front and center?
#17. Scott Wedgewood – Dallas Stars. What’s this a Marvel comic’s themed goalie mask? Anyone that features the Incredible Hulk on their mask is ok in our books. Learn more about Wedgewood’s 2022-23 goalie mask.
#16. Adin Hill – Vegas Golden Knights. Brick walls, dragons, Golden Knights alternate logo. What more could you want in a Golden Knights mask? Hill’s 2022-23 mask has it all.
#15. Jake Allen – Montreal Canadiens. Another simple, yet classic mask. Allen’s cage features the historic Habs logo and classic Canadiens striping with a fleur de lis on the chin. Really sharp looking mask.
#14. Brian Elliot – Tampa Bay Lightning. Lightning bolts and palm trees. What more do you need? Love the way the lightning bolts come down and meet at the bottom of the chin. Great design.
#13. Cam Talbot – Ottawa Senators. Talbot’s Stranger Things mask is cool. Stranger Things fans will notice that the top half is regular world and the bottom of the mask is the upside-down world. Here’s a clip of Talbot talking about the mask.
#12. Spencer Martin – Vancouver Canucks. I was watching a Canucks game a few weeks back and I couldn’t take my eyes off of the Canucks goaltender’s mask. It was Spencer Martin with his eye-popping blue and green chrome Canucks mask. The mask features a cross and a reference to the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 on the back of his. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” More on Martin’s Canucks mask.
#11. Martin Jones Seattle Kraken. The Kraken have a cool logo and Jones keeps his make somewhat simple incorporating the Kraken logo, Kraken tentacles and an anchor on the chin. Sharp piece of work.
#10. Marc-Andre Fleury – Minnesota Wild. This is probably one of our favourite masks from Fleury. The Wild Beast is pretty cool looking. Fleury describes his mask as a “wild beast with his mouth open” inspired by Andy Moog’s old Bruins mask. ” And got some flowers in the background.”
#9. Frederik Anderson – Carolina Hurricanes. The mask features the great red, black and white colour scheme of the ‘Canes and utilizes the Canes logo to make it look like an actual twister. Love the use of the Canes secondary logo on the front of the mask. Epic design on this one.
#8. Stuart Skinner – Edmonton Oilers. This is a really great looking mask that features the orange, blue and white colour motif and includes a classic oil drop as well as the cog that is used in the teams reverse retro jersey for this season.
#7. Dan Vlader – Calgary Flames. The Flames motif is something that you can work with. What we like about Darth Vlader’s cage is the great use of stripes and the stallion that is featured front and center. Somewhat unique, which is why his mask ranks number six on our list.
#6. Casey DeSmith – Pittsburgh Penguins. Another retro-looking mask that incorporates the classic Pens logo. With the yellow cage, this mask just pops.
#5. Thatcher Demko – Vancouver Canucks. The eerie looking Johnny Canuck zombie on the right side of the mask is worth the price of admission alone. Love how Demko has incorporated the Canucks colours and logo into the mask which does have a bit of a retro-vibe to it.
#4. Eric Comrie – Buffalo Sabres. Comrie’s mask is simply a beautiful piece of work. Sometimes simple design works the best. You’ve got the classic Sabres logo that dominates the mask along with the cool “Buffalo” font that the team uses and some great yellow piping that makes this mask really glisten.
#3. Philipp Grubauer – Seattle Kraken. The Seattle skyline on one side of the mask and the Kraken emerging from the depths of the sea with full on arms and tentacles. This is a perfectly designed Seattle Kraken mask and is what we would expect to see. That red Kraken eye is menacing, isn’t it?
Take your collection of Seattle Kraken memorabilia to the next level with this autographed Philipp Grubauer Replica Goalie Mask. Whether displayed in your home or office, it’s the perfect way to highlight your passion for the Seattle Kraken for years to come.
#2. Connor Hellebucyk – Winnipeg Jets. Speaking of works of art. Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebucyk’s mask is a thing of beauty. The classic Winnipeg Jets logo and color scheme is tremendous. This mask could easily be our top choice for best goalie mask of 2023.
#1. Jacob Markstrom – Calgary Flames. Markstrom’s skull mask is brilliant. It includes an entirely engulfed flaming “C” which looks modern yet keeps the classic shape to it. He actually has a couple of different versions of the skull mask, but burning skull version is sharp, mean and is an instant fan favourite.
Think that we’ve probably omitted a mask that you feel should have made our list. If there is one that we missed, send us a note on Twitter and we will consider it for a future version.
The Franklin Sports Replica Full-Size Goalie Mask is made of high-impact ABS plastic. It features a chrome finish welded steel cage, newly designed ACD vented shell, full-coverage adjustable back plate, adjustable elasticized quick-snap straps and is designed to reduce, but not prevent injury. Team logo decals are displayed on the shell. This mask is not for competitive play. Officially licensed by the National Hockey League. This item is for display & collectible purposes only. It is not intended for use and measures 12” x 10” x 8”.
To learn more about goalie mask artist Dave Gunnarsson, visit https://daveart.com/the-story-of-daveart/