The hockey goalie blocker might be one of the most underrated pieces of equipment that a goalie will wear. A high percentage of shots will bounce off the blocker and you don’t want something that doesn’t give you the biggest advantage as possible. And what do I mean by that? Well for example, comfort. Hockey gear when it’s comfortable is far easier to play in compared to gear that isn’t.
Another example and critical piece of performance is rebound control. There are blockers, the Bauer UltraSonic and the Optik 2 Pro that pucks simply explode off of into the corner.
The blocker, although “just a blocker” is one piece of gear we’ll often see NHL goalies wear outside of their brand. Many times, we see professional goalies who wear a brand like CCM wearing a Bauer blocker, or vice versa. This is because the fit of most blockers is relatively the same.
Lastly, before we jump into this deep dive of the best goalie blockers for 2023 would be durability. You don’t want a blocker that is going to rip and tear within the first three months of using it. Of course, Bauer has taken some flak for building a product that some would deem as “not a long term product” but I think it’s safe to say they’ve addressed and defeated those concerns.
Oh, and if you’re looking for more affordable blockers, check out the bottom of this guide.
These are the best goalie blockers for 2023
- True 20.2 (Best Overall)
- Bauer Supreme Mach (Best Rebound Control)
- Brian’s Optik 3 Pro (Best Durability)
- Vaughan Ventus SLR3 Pro (Best Value)
Best Goalie Blockers for Hockey Goalies This Year
In all honesty, you could probably pick any blocker out of this list and be perfectly fine. But, since we’re extra and we’re goalies, of course, we’re going to take a deep dive into the best blockers for the money and performance.
Now, before we jump, I wanted to address this question (for those who want the TLDR version).
What really is the best goalie blocker this year?
There isn’t one. There are three. First, the True 20.2. Second, Brian’s Optik 3, and finally, the Bauer Supreme Mach. Those are all tied for the top spot on our list. If you’re looking for something that’s going to give you the best performance and the cheapest price, that’s the Vaughan Ventus SLR3 Pr.
True 20.2 (Best Overall)
As far as high-end goalie equipment goes, True is consistently near the top. So it should come as no surprise that the True 20.2 is the highest-ranked goalie blocker for 2023.
Now as goalies ourselves, we appreciate a set of gear that is going to withstand the test of time. That’s what you are paying for in this blocker. No, you’re not going to get a bargain of a deal here, but it’s going to last you a long time and have a higher resell value down the road than some of its competitors.
This is a lightweight blocker. The board is a typical high-density foam board (this is essentially every blocker), but not all blockers have the same result. What makes it special is that the pucks really pop off of it, giving you the best chance to keep rebounds out of harm’s way.
It features a Suregrip palm, which is designed to reduce the amount of slip while holding your stick. And like many other goalie blockers on the market, it features additional protection on the index finger and around the thumb. The protection as a whole is good.
Lastly, the wrist mobility on this blocker is a perk. It’s oddly annoying playing in the net with a blocker that doesn’t have a lot of mobility in the wrist. I’ve been there, and it wasn’t fun. This is why to me I think having an adjustable half-piece cuff is an enticing benefit.
Again, you might feel like you’re going to have to break the bank to get this blocker, but it’s worth it. There are bad and good and then there are elite blockers.
Bauer Supreme Mach (Best Rebound Control)
It wouldn’t be a complete list of the best-ranked hockey goalie blockers for 2023 if we did not include the Bauer Supreme Mach blocker. While Bauer typically hasn’t had the best reputation for durability over the years, they make up for it in exceptional performance across the board.
The Supreme Mach blocker is a lightweight, high-performance waffle. It’s not your typical, safe, and sturdy option, no, it’s going to put pucks in the corner in a blink of an eye. It’s optimized for pure rebound control and net coverage.
The finger protection is adjustable and of course, it also features additional protection around the index finger to protect from taking a puck straight off the finger.
The benefit of range of motion is a big aspect of this blocker. I used Bauer blockers for many years and I never got over how well I could move my hand and wrist in those. Of course, that goes back to the concept of optimizing for performance.
Bauer has been getting better at creating longer-lasting and more durable equipment. Particularly with the blocker, goalies haven’t been having as many breakdowns with them, making this is a safer bet long term. Of course if you want a blocker that will last you a decade, Brian’s is probably the way to go. But if you want clean rebound control and a high performing goalie blocker, the Bauer Supreme Mach is for you.
Brian’s Optik 3 Pro (Best Durability)
The latest and greatest release from Brian’s is the Optik 3 Pro blocker. Brian’s has been an underrated goalie brand for the longest time, but they design and build high quality and durable pieces of equipment. And that goes for the Optik 3 blocker.
It features a beveled board that is designed to help keep rebounds off the waffle down and out, rather than getting a puck that bounces off the blocker and directly up into the air. If you’ve played goalie for some time, you’ve probably had that happen to you.
What’s interesting about Brian’s gear is that it features a dial to adjust the tightness of your equipment. That’s what you will find in this blocker. Is this a game-changer for me? No, but if you are a goalie that appreciates a tighter wrist on your blocker, this is a neat benefit.
The biggest benefit that you get when you go with a goalie blocker like the Optik 3, is that you know it’s going to last a long time. Whether you’re tearing it up in high school or playing bear league puck, this is the type of blocker that is going to get the job done for a long time.
Vaughan Ventus SLR3 Pro (Best Value)
The best value goalie blocker of the year is the Vaughan Ventus SLR3 Pro. I’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on durability, which is what Vaughan is known for. And possibly, maybe to a fault. Look don’t get me wrong, I’m all on the value wagon train. I love a good deal when I can find one, but Vaughan has had a reputation for making sturdy goalie gear without putting a ton of emphasis on innovating.
If you want a blocker that is going to absorb the puck shock, protect your hands and last a lifetime, here you go. While this blocker does have features like a hydrophobic overlay on the palm to increase grip, and a big board, it’s not going to blow you off the rink with its features.
But that’s why you don’t have to pay True 20.2 prices to get your hands on it. There are tradeoffs when it comes to playing goalie, and each brand puts a different emphasis on different features. In the case of the Ventus SLR3, it’s a great value-driven blocker, which is why it made the top blockers list.
Related: Best Goalie Skates
CCM Axis 2 Pro
The next best goalie blocker for 2023 is the CCM Axis 2 Pro. This is a blocker that features a center palm designed to give you the best balance on your wrist. It’s also lightweight and quite comfortable.
While it doesn’t have the same rebound control as the Bauer Mach, it still has the ability to put rebounds well out of the crease and away from the net. That of course requires you as the goalie to position the blocker in such a way that will put the puck further away. But this blocker will certainly give the puck a boost.
As far as hand and wrist protection goes, the Axis 2 Pro is right up there with the best of them. Not much else to say here.
CCM has continued to build and develop its brand after its parting with Lefevre, and it shows. The Axis 2 Pro is a solid goalie blocker and will get the job done.
Warrior G6 Pro+
While Warrior hasn’t been able to quite make a splash in the goalie industry at a professional level, they continue to make high-quality equipment. The Warrior Ritual G6 Pro+ is the latest and top-of-the-line model Warrior has released.
It features CoverEDGE+ technology which is engineered to give you the maximum amount of coverage on your blocker side. The board is bent at a 20 degree angle, which increases rebound speed of the puck. The idea is to increase the “pop” of the puck when it comes off the waffle.
If you’ve tried a set of Warrior goalie pads on, you’d likely be surprised at how light they weigh. The same is true with this blocker.
Lastly, and probably the most convincing reason to get the blocker is the removable palm. Instead of having to buy a new blocker every so often, you can just buy a new palm and replace the old one. This can also be beneficial if you want to rotate between palms quickly.
Bauer Ultra Sonic
New for 2020, Bauer has released the Ultra Sonic lineup. The Ultra Sonic blocker is very lightweight and comfortable. One thing we noticed right away was it’s ability to push pucks in to the corner with a lot of speed.
That is nothing new in Bauer blockers though. Or Bauer pads for that matter.
The internal Curv Composite board sends pucks flying. I’m not sure what specific material is used to create the CurvComposite, but it works wonders.
Puck shock is also almost non existent with this blocker. Most blockers in 2020 have little hand shock though.
The only problem with Bauer equipment in the past has always been durability. To combat this, Bauer has reinforced the CorTech skin for longer lasting gear.
Which I’ve personally used the 2S Pro and 2X Pro gear over the last two years. The 2S gear got cut up and broke down fairly quick while the 2X gear is still working just fine.
So I have good reason to believe that the Ultrasonic lineup is going to be just as good if not better than the 2X lineup.
Overall I believe that if you have the funds to get the new Ultrasonic lineup, it’s worth it.
CCM Extreme Flex 4 Pro
CCM is next up on this list and we’re talking about the Extreme Flex 4 Pro blocker. CCM created this blocker with a larger face for more area coverage. It’s a balanced fit in the hand so it feels natural to hold.
The internal part on the inside is made of a thick HD board that sends pucks bouncing off. Comparing this to a Bauer blocker however, it’s not even close.
CCM focused a lot on the finger protection of this blocker too. They put StraightFinger protection on the pointer finger to get maximum protection of the index by covering it with D30 technology. D30 is a material made of polyurethane material designed to absorb energy and pucks better.
The palm of it is CCM’s Grey Nash palm, it’s a comfortable material and has grip in it as well so one’s stick doesn’t go flying away.
CCM is a super popular brand for goalies, and the Eflex 4 Pro blocker is very well made. You can’t go wrong with this one.
Brian’s Optik 2 Pro
The Brian’s Optik 2 Pro goalie blocker is one of the best goalie blockers you can get right now. It’s a step up from the original Optik blocker which was very popular when it was released.
This one has a thin beveled face to keep the overall weight of the blocker down. On the same token however, the board is bigger in surface area. Making it easier to make important saves.
This blocker has the SBA no slip palm so when you start sweating in it, the blocker won’t start sliding around in your hand. The palm is placed slightly above the center allowing for low blocker saves to be easier to reach. The BOA system (wrist strap adjuster) is on this blocker too.
Finally, this blocker is very comfortable. It’s centered and has a good feel in the hand. It may come as a surprise to many that Brian’s is at the top of this list, but this blocker is worth it.
CCM Axis Pro
The CCM Axis Pro blocker is CCM’s newest and most elite blocker they’ve created. It’s comfortable, durable and has a lot of pop to it. They’ve also implemented better protection in the fingers and the palm is centered on the blocker pad.
But, the biggest feature of this blocker goes back to rebound control. The board is now stiffer and heat constructed to ensure rebounds are sent far out. Overall, this is a quality blocker.
Lefevre L 20.1
The Lefevre L20.1 goalie blocker is one of the newest blocker models on the market, recently released after Lefevre’s breakup with CCM.
A couple of things that make this blocker one of the best is that it’s high quality and sleek. If you’ve worn any of the CCM gear over the past few years you know how Lefevre makes their gear.
It’s high quality stuff.
It’s also not cheap. But you get what you pay for in hockey equipment. Especially goalie equipment.
However, if you are on the verge of buying an elite level goalie blocker or a new set of pads, go with the leg pads. I personally believe that blockers make a difference on the ice, but not the difference a high quality pair of pads will make. (We have an article here on the best goalie pads if you need some direction).
What you get the most in the Lefevre L20.1 goalie blocker is a comfortable fit and high quality craftsmanship. A lot of pros have made the switch from CCM to Lefevre over these August playoffs and pros don’t switch gear just for the fun of it.
That being said, I believe that this blocker is one of the best options for goalies in 2023.
Vaughn V9 Pro Carbon
Next up on the list is Vauhn’s newest lineup, the Velocity V9 Pro Carbon blocker. It features a thin foam board internally with reinforced carbon on the top of it. The V9 Pro has a deep bend in the top of the board to send rebounds flying.
One of the reasons this blocker is so high up on the list is it’s rebound control. With the reinforced carbon, pucks are sent flying.
The palm of the V9 Pro Carbon is also comfortable. It’s a new and upgraded palm from previous Vaughn blockers. Not only that, the hand protection on this blocker is very protective. It features front finger protection and a carbon mold protecting the thumb.
Finally, the Vaughn V9 Pro Carbon blocker is very mobile. It has a floating cuff design that ensures high range of movement in the wrist. You won’t have any concerns with mobility in this blocker.
Overall this blocker is one of the best goalie blockers you can get for 2020.
Warrior Ritual G5 Pro
Warrior, one of my favorite goalie brands. The G5 Pro blocker is one of the best blockers that you can get. One of it’s biggest features is the ability to change the palm on it very quickly. It takes a matter of seconds before your palm can be dry and clean.
Not only that, but this extends the life of your blocker significantly. Usually the first piece on the blocker to go, is the palm. Now you can get a new palm for peanuts compared to a whole new blocker.
Related: Best Goalie Chest Protectors
Warrior GT2 Pro
Warrior is one of my favorite goalie brands for many reasons. One, they’re always innovating the game.
The GT2 Pro blocker is made with no bindings and a removable palm. I personally am a huge fan of the removable palm. You can keep switching back and forth from a replacement palm to the original on a short term basis, to keep it fresh.
Otherwise if you plan on using this blocker for several years, well you can just pop a new palm in place of the old one, and bump out a couple more on the same waffle board.
Not only that but the position of the palm can be moved around depending on the goalie’s preference. Warrior made the board with HyperComp material, which is designed to be lightweight but strong. It has a nice pop to it, sending rebounds well into the corner.
The biggest reason that this blocker is so high up on my list of “Best Goalie Blockers” is because of the removable palm. This ensures a very long lifetime in the blocker because usually the first area on the blocker to go is the palm.
Brian’s G-Netik IV
The Brian’s G-Netik IV blocker is a solid blocker that was released last year. Like literally every blocker on this list (almost), it uses HD foam as a board on the inside. It’s beveled in the front for a nice seal on the ice while in the RVH with the paddle down.
The palm is made from Digitech and it’s placed in the center of the board. The palm also is designed so that when one starts to sweat, the blocker doesn’t start sliding around causing problems.
In the wrist area to adjust the strap, Brian’s has BOA technology so with a twist of a dial the wrist strap will change its tension. Overall Brian’s has always made quality, durable gear and they did it again with this one.
Related: Best Goalie Helmets For Protection
Vaughn Ventus SLR2 Pro Carbon
The Vaughn Ventus SLR2 Pro Carbon blocker is one of the lightest on the market today. The design of the board is very flat until the top. There is a definite change of angle to it that helps with rebound control and getting pucks to the corner. The blocker has added protection on the bottom called Quickslide for situations when playing the paddle on the ice during the RVH.
The palm is placed slightly higher than center for a balanced feel and it’s made of what Vaughn is calling VX suede. It has multiple layers of suregrip for a better hold on the stick and a longer lasting palm. The fingers are protected by HD foam and carbon designed so pucks will not slide up the stick into the finger. The Ventus SLR2 Pro blocker deserves a spot with some of the best, even if it’s down on the bottom.
Best Budget Blockers
I realize that sometimes, spending $400 on a blocker can be a little expensive. This is a list of the best blockers that you can get, for budget prices. These are models that might not be the newest or greatest blockers that you can get, but they are still quality blockers.
Bauer 2S Pro
The Bauer 2S Pro blocker was released about two years ago. Although this isn’t the newest model on the market, it still is one of the best. The HD foam and CurvComposite on the inside of the blocker created what we like to call awesome rebound control.
I’ve used some high end blockers, and the 2S Pro blocker sent pucks flying the furthest with the least shock by quite a bit. Not only that but the Nash Pro palm on the blocker is very well made and comfortable. It also holds up very nicely. The wrist of this blocker has Bauer’s Free Flex design that allows for awesome mobility in the area. Overall I’m a fan of the Bauer 2S Pro blocker.
Is a Goalie Blocker Really “Just a Blocker?”
At the end of the day, to some goalies, a blocker will remain “just a blocker”. I do think that it is the most boring piece of gear a goalie can wear, but at the same time, goalie blockers are not all created equal. Speaking from a distance, however, I do think that all of the blockers on this list are premium quality and will get the job done, until next time thank you for reading.