Goalies in the NHL are some of the most well-known and talked about players in the league. However, something that is rare is lefty goalies, who are referred to as “Full Right” goalies. Not only are these goalies rare, the ability they have to get the necessary gear is challenging and often costly. Despite these challenges, there are still a few of these goalies making waves in the NHL today.

The fact is, just like a left-handed baseball pitcher is thought to have an advantage, a full-right goalie is thought to have an advantage over the left-shooting skaters. Many skaters will instinctively snipe a shot to the left of the goaltender, or glove side, at a lower level of play. They are then surprised to have the shot deflected with a stick save or blocker.

Historic Full-Right Goalies

Before diving into the current lineup of full right goalies, here are some of the “big names” from NHL history that fell into this category:

  • Robert Crozier: Considered a Red Wings legend, he played for 15 seasons as one of the top full right goalies in league history.
  • Roman Turek: He first played for the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakian national teams and then won the Stanley Cup in 1999 with Dallas.
  • Tom Barrasso: Another full right great, he was the only goaltender who played in the NHL directly after graduating from high school, with no experience in the junior minor league.

Today’s Full-Right Goalies

Some of the notable full-right goalies playing today include:

  • Jonas Hiller: Formerly of The Flames has signed with the Swiss League club EHC Biel
  • Steve Mason: Number 35 for the Winnipeg Jets
  • Jose Theodore: Former full right goalie for the Florida Panthers ending his career in 2013.

While these goalies may have a few advantages on the ice, they still have some stiff competition, with 95 percent of this year’s goalie lineup catching with their left hand and being pretty highly rated.

The main reason full-right goalies are perceived as having an advantage by many is because many players don’t pay attention to which hand the stick is in. As a result, they wind up surprised when the puck is blocked or returned. However, today, the stigma associated with full-right goalies isn’t as high as it was in the past, which is why there may be more players emerging that play this way.

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