NHL History: 30 best players in the 21st century (Updated 2023)

NHL logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NHL logo (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
14 of 30
Roberto Luongo
Roberto Luongo (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images) /

30 best NHL players of the 21st century: 17. Roberto Luongo

Roberto Luongo was a goalie who had an incredible career across many different eras. He had a save percentage of over .900 for every season of his career except the very last one. He posted a save percentage of over .920 eight different times. He was great for the Florida Panthers at the beginning of his career, then he became a superstar with the Vancouver Canucks.

Luongo was strangely underrated during his time. In 2003-04, he had a Goals Saved Above Average of a ridiculous 48.4. He only finished third in Vezina Trophy voting. In fact, he never won a Vezina Trophy at all, despite being a top-three goalie for most of his career. There was a long stretch where Luongo was considered the best, yet he always lost out on Vezina Trophies to the likes of Mikka Kiprusoff, Tim Thomas, and Jose Theodore.

When Luongo was at his best, he was nearly unbeatable. He helped the Canucks go to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final thanks to four shutouts. He did have some forgettable performances in the playoffs, which probably impacted how voters looked for him in terms of Vezina voting. Still, during his time in net, he was one of the best to stop the puck.

His most prolific performances came on the national stage. He represented Canada in three Olympic Games. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, which happened to be in Vancouver, he carried Canada to the gold medal with a .927 save percentage. He was a backup to Price in 2014, but he did appear in one game and got a shutout.