Building the perfect team is the quintessential goal in NHL 18‘s Hockey Ultimate Team mode. While it’s easy to focus only on the forwards and defensemen on your team, we’re going to look at goaltenders in this guide. Having a solid netminder to backstop your team is a priority that is all too often overlooked. Yes, there are certain cheese goals that will beat any goaltender, as pointed out in our review of NHL 18, but you’ll still want the best you can get.
The Perfect Choice
Martin Brodeur – Legend
Marty Brodeur’s Legend card is about the best goaltender you can pull in Hockey Ultimate Team. Not only are his stats incredible, but he also plays like the actual legendary goalie that he is.
Brodeur is a master of the glove save, boasting a 95 rating in both Glove High and Glove Low categories. He’s also very skilled at handling the puck, both in and out of the net. His lowest stats are in the Durability and Poise categories, but let’s be honest, if you’re Marty Brodeur, who needs more poise than that?
His synergies feature a point each in Locker Room Leaders, Thread the Needle, and Concrete Wall.
Of course, unless you have pack luck on your side, his card won’t come cheap. Expect to pay in the neighborhood of 120,000 to 180,000 coins in the Auction House.
The Best of the Rest
Pekka Rinne – Gold
Pekka Rinne is an incredibly solid choice to put between the pipes of your Hockey Ultimate Team. He possesses one of the features not tracked on a stats sheet: size. At 6’5″, Pekka is one of the taller goaltenders in the game, and size matters when it comes to covering the net.
He excels at keeping the lower part of the net covered, with high ratings in both Glove Low and Stick Low categories. If there’s a flaw in his game, it would be his Passing, but if you’re passing frequently as the goalie, you need to play better hockey.
Pekka’s lone point in synergies is in Silky Smooth.
Pekka Rinne is a great choice for your team, in large part because he’s easy to come by. If you’ve ripped any reasonable number of packs, you’ve likely come across him. If not, he’s available for a reasonable amount of coin in the Auction House.
Tuuka Rask – Gold
Tuuka Rask represents another middle-of-the road goaltender that won’t let you down in HUT. While he’s not as flashy as a Brodeur, nor as tall as a Rinne, he brings with him a solid set of abilities.
Tuuka’s Positioning, Vision, and Poise are second to none. He may also be a great choice if your team has trouble recovering rebounds, as he’s extremely skilled at Shot Recovery and Agility.
While he may not take you to Division 1 in Competitive Seasons, Tuuka Rask is very affordable if you haven’t been lucky enough to pull him from a pack. If his single point in the Thread the Needle synergy interests you, he would make a great addition as the starting goalie in many teams.
Braden Holtby – Gold
If you’re looking for a little more quality than just the common Gold goaltenders, then Braden Holtby is your man.
Most comparable to his peers, Carey Price and Sergei Bobrovsky, Braden stands apart from them for several reasons. First of all, he’s much more affordable than Carey Price, ranging in the low 20 thousands. Holtby also excels that Vision, Rebound Control, and Shot Recovery, with solid ratings in the major Glove and Stick categories as well.
Holtby offers up one point in Silky Smooth synergy points.
If you manage to draw him out of a card pack, we suggest you keep him and stick him between the pipes, unless you’ve already got a Brodeur there. He’s not expensive enough to bother selling, and he’ll backstop your team to some great games.
The Budget Choice
Frederik Andersen – Gold
This option is for those of you that have gambled away all of their coins and managed to accidentally sell all their best goaltenders. Or die-hard Leafs fans, I suppose. Freddie Andersen’s stats may look a little bit out of place, as his overall rating of 84 falls a little shy of the rest of the goalies offered up in this guide. Don’t let that fool you though.
For whatever reason, the HUT gods have blessed Andersen with the ability to make some spectacular, albeit heart attack inducing, saves. On a regular basis he will stop pucks that he had no business stopping.
Would you ideally want someone in net that doesn’t make you choke on your Mountain Dew with every rebound he gives up? Sure. But if budget and luck aren’t in your favor, you could do far worse than Frederik Andersen. Just please, don’t attempt to make passes.
If you’re choosing Andersen to start between the pipes, you’re probably not too focused on your HUT team’s synergies, but he will add one point in Concrete Wall regardless.
Curtis Joseph – Legend
Do you like to gamble? Have around 45,000 coins to spare? Then pick up the Curtis Joseph Legend card in the Auction House. One of the cheapest Legends cards available for purchase, he will surely make you the laughing stock of the HUT subreddit, but you never know how things will turn out.
Joseph’s biggest drawback is his size. Standing only 5’11” in a world of giant goaltenders, he’s one of the smaller bodies you can bring out on the ice. His lack of size is offset by his excellent Speed, Agility, and coverage of the lower net, in both Glove and Stick categories.
He seems to come with a 57 rating in Durability, so you may want to stick some extra padding into his gear. We’re not sure what the reasoning behind such a low rating is, but we suspect that you’ll be fine.
At the very least, you’ll get the benefit of a spiffy looking Legend card, as well as three synergy points, one in each of Silky Smooth, Angry Aggressors, and Concrete Wall.
Once again, please do not attempt any passes with this goaltender. You have been warned.
Obviously, your mileage will vary, and there are many great choices for goaltenders available in NHL 18‘s Hockey Ultimate Team. Let us know in the comments who you’ve had the most success with.