(Pro Hockey Talk is taking a look back at the year in hockey. We’ll be presenting you with the best goals, saves, moments, players and much more as we bring you the best of 2017.)
One of the great things about Twitter is just how fast a goal can be scored and the highlight be blasted across the interwebs for all to see, no matter what part of the globe the game took place. This list of the best goals of 2017 isn’t limited to NHL highlights. We’ve scoured the Internet for the best moves and efforts that resulted in goals and broken them down in different categories.
You’ll see great individual efforts, creative attempts and even a slew of goalie goals.
We hope you enjoy.
THE SOLO EFFORTS
Andreas Athanasiou vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, Jan. 14
AA has wheels. AA has hands. He combined those two skills to embarrass the Penguins.
Laura Horwood vs. Union, Jan. 21
If you’re going to stop Horwood from taking a scoring chance, you apparently need to do a little more than hand out a few chops and trip her up.
Auston Matthews vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Feb. 19
The 2017 Calder Trophy winner routinely made goaltenders look silly, as Cam Ward discovered. This effort, a twisty backhander that went five-hole was all sorts of ridiculous.
Sidney Crosby vs. Buffalo Sabres, March 21
The 2016-17 Sabres were bad, bad, bad, so it’s no surprised that to defend Crosby, they parted the seas and allowed the Penguins captain to one-hand a shot by Robin Lehner.
Alex Radulov vs. New York Rangers, April 16
Radulov was electric in his NHL return with the Montreal Canadiens last season. That was on full display during the first-round of the playoffs when he undressed Henrik Lundqvist with this one-handed beauty.
Mike Hoffman vs. Bruins, April 17
This is a complete package of a goal. Not only do we get a marvelous Hail Mary pass from Erik Karlsson that lands on Hoffman’s tape, we then get a Nilsson/Forsberg move to top it all off.
David Farrance vs. Finland, Aug. 4
Coast-to-coast goals are a thing for Farrance. He showed that once again with the U.S. National Team Development Program during August’s World Junior Summer Showcase.
David Pastrnak vs. Vancouver Canucks, Oct. 19
The Canucks were just like us on this goal, admiring a wonderful end-to-end rush by the Bruins star.
Jack Hughes vs. Green Bay Gamblers, Oct. 23
We’ll be hearing a lot about Hughes in the next few years as he prepares for the 2019 NHL Draft with the USNTDP. Here he is giving us a taste of what’s to come.
Adam Henrique vs. New Jersey Devils, Dec. 18
“It’s good to be back in New Jersey. Now here’s a highlight-reel goal.” – Henrique, probably.
It’s not just the big kids who can score pretty goals:
Pontus Aberg vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, May 31
Poor Olli Maatta, getting posterized on a national stage like the Stanley Cup Final.
Viktor Arvidsson vs. Carolina Hurricanes, Nov. 27
The Nashville Predators forward pulled this same move off against the St. Louis Blues a year ago. That scouting report appeared to get lost.
Dmitry Orlov vs. Dallas Stars, Dec. 19
Orlov is still playing for the Capitals, which means no one reported him to the authorities after he pulled this move on John Klingberg.
THE BASEBALL BATTERS
Jared Spurgeon vs. New Jersey Devils, Jan. 17
It’s not so much the Minnesota Wild defenseman batting away here, it’s the wherewithal to catch and release in such a small amount of time that puts this one on another level.
Patric Hornqvist vs. Florida Panthers, March 19
This might be the closest thing we get to an alley-oop in hockey. Great timing and connection here between Hornqvist and Phil Kessel.
THE CHEEKY BETWEEN-THE-LEGS SCORERS
Chad Kolarik vs. Dusseldorf, Sept. 17
These types of goals are never not be enjoyable every single time you watch. Just the sheer confidence alone to decide to pull this move off during a game — a close one in this instance — is enough to warrant praise.
Robert Farmer vs. Sheffield Steelers, Oct. 14
Silky. Smooth. Call it whatever you want. Farmer pulls this is off in a very calm manner like he’d done it before.
Josh Bailey vs. San Jose Sharks, Oct. 21
Bailey does it all here. He intercepts the pass, makes Joe Pavelski look silly and then gets tricky inside Aaron Dell‘s crease.
Boris Sadecky vs. Lokomotiv, Oct. 25
Sadecky was feeling it this night in October. He not only embarrasses a defenseman on his way to the net, he then was feeling supremely confident that he felt that going backhand or forehand wasn’t the way to go.
Kenny Agostino vs. Utica Comets, Dec. 10
In what turned out to be the 2,000th win in franchise history, Agostino needed only 26 seconds of overtime to deliver this absolute beauty.
THE BILL ARMSTRONG/MIKE LEGG TRIBUTES
Kalle Kossila vs San Jose Barracuda, Jan. 20
You have to admire the patience of the San Diego Gulls forward here. It’s clear he badly wants to attempt the lacrosse-style shot and he’s just waiting out the defenseman to give him the space needed to do it. Success.
Matthew Strome vs. Ottawa 67’s, Nov. 25
Just like The Spanish Inquisition, no goalie ever expects the scoop shot.
THE GOALIE GOALS
Étienne Montpetit vs. Quebec Remparts, Jan. 7
Montpetit put a different spin on things by taking advantage of the Remparts emptying their net trying for a goal while on a power play. A shorthanded goalie goal.
Mike Smith, All-Star Skills Competition, Jan. 28
If Smith had accomplished this feat during an intermission, he probably would have won himself a brand new car or some cash.
Dylan Wells vs. Kingston Frontenacs, April 13
Really one of the best parts of a goalie goal is when they take part in the bench fly-by. It’s always well-deserved.
Mikhail Berdin vs. Muskegon Lumberjcks, Nov. 20
Not only did Sioux Falls Stampede fans get to enjoy a win during Teddy Bear Toss Night, they also got to see Berdin strut his stuff in celebration after he scored the first goal of his career.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.