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Do Not Let Height Stop You

In the case of being an NHL goaltender there is no minimum height, but seeing that the majority of NHL goaltenders are 6’0″ or taller, it can be intimidating to shorter goalies aspiring to reach the professional level. One could argue that players are getting larger so the goalie needs to be larger in order to handle collisions. Another argument is that when executing a butterfly style save that the taller the goalie, the less net is exposed above their shoulders. Whether you just want to be the best in your amateur league or dream of becoming an NHL goaltender, I’m here to tell you that your height does not matter.

Personally, I am 5’9″ and found that were I lack in height, I make up for it in agility, aggressiveness, and drive to never give up on a play. Here is a list of former NHL goaltenders who came in at 5’10” or under:

  • Andy Moog 5’6″ – 3 time Stanley Cup winner and 1 Jennings Trophy
  • Arturs Irbe 5’8″ – All Star and Stanley Cup runner up
  • Darren Pang 5’5″ – NHL color commentator
  • Fred Brathwaite 5’7″ – Played on a variety of NHL teams
  • Chris Terreri 5’9″ – Two time Stanley Cup winner
  • John Vanbiesbrouck 5’8″ – Hall of Fame, Vezina Trophy and 3 All Star games
  • Chris Osgood 5’10” – 3 time Stanley Cup winner, 2 Jennings Trophies, and scored a goal
  • Mike Vernon 5’9″ – 2 time Stanley Cup winner, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, 1 Jennings Trophy, and 5 All Star games
  • Grant Fuhr 5’9″ – Hall of Fame, 5 time Stanley Cup winner, 6 All Star games, 1 Vezina Trophy, and 1 Jennings Trophy

Last but not least, don’t forget about the shortest goalie in NHL history, Roy “Shrimp” Worters who was only 5’3″ tall. He was the first goaltender to win the Hart Memorial Trophy and the first goaltender to record back to back shutouts. Over his career he recorded 66 shutouts and was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The list of active NHL goaltenders who are under 6’0″ is not that long and keep in mind that the documented height of players sometimes can be a few inches more than they actually are.

  • Jhonas Enroth 5’10” – Currently the shortest in the league. Backup for the Buffalo Sabres
  • Tim Thomas 5’11” – Boston Bruins starting goaltender, Stanley Cup winner, 3 All Star games, 1 Jennings Trophy, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, and 2 Vezina Trophies
  • Jose Theodore 5’11” – Florida Panthers starting goaltender
  • Jonathan Bernier 5’11” – Backup for the Los Angeles Kings
  • Jaroslav Halak 5’11” – St. Louis Blues starting goaltender

Finally, here is the shortest goaltender in hockey history:

As you can see it does not matter how tall you are, it is how dedicated, determined, and hard working you are that will get you to the level you want. So the next time someone tells you that you are too short to achieve a certain level just tell them, “Nice try Nogoalov”!

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