Rotoworld Staff

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Defensemen Outliers

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The rankings you will find in these pages are an average. We took the ranks of Michael Finewax, Brian Rosenbaum, Ryan Dadoun and Corey Abbott to formulate a composite score. Of course, there was no way we were all going to agree on every player. Some of us had unique feelings on certain guys, making them outliers. Here are the right winger rankings and explanations:


Defenseman Rankings


1 Erik Karlsson Erik Karlsson Brent Burns Erik Karlsson
2 Brent Burns Brent Burns Erik Karlsson Brent Burns
3 Victor Hedman Victor Hedman Dustin Byfuglien Victor Hedman
4 Dustin Byfuglien Dustin Byfuglien Victor Hedman Dustin Byfuglien
5 Roman Josi P.K. Subban Roman Josi Roman Josi
6 Zach Werenski Kris Letang Kevin Shattenkirk Dougie Hamilton
7 Dougie Hamilton John Klingberg Dougie Hamilton Kevin Shattenkirk
8 Justin Schultz Roman Josi P.K. Subban John Carlson
9 John Carlson Shea Weber Torey Krug Justin Schultz
10 Kevin Shattenkirk Duncan Keith Justin Schultz P.K. Subban
11 P.K. Subban Kevin Shattenkirk John Carlson Shea Weber
12 Shea Weber John Carlson Zach Werenski Torey Krug
13 Ryan Suter Rasmus Ristolainen Shea Weber Alex Pietrangelo
14 Torey Krug Ryan Suter Ryan Suter Duncan Keith
15 Duncan Keith Dougie Hamilton Duncan Keith Zach Werenski
16 Alex Pietrangelo Drew Doughty Alex Pietrangelo Kris Letang
17 Drew Doughty Oliver Ekman-Larsson Kris Letang Ryan Suter
18 Mark Giordano Torey Krug Drew Doughty Drew Doughty
19 Kris Letang Justin Schultz Mark Giordano John Klingberg
20 Rasmus Ristolainen Zach Werenski Rasmus Ristolainen Oliver Ekman-Larsson
21 Ryan Ellis Seth Jones Ryan Ellis Rasmus Ristolainen
22 Matt Dumba Alex Pietrangelo John Klingberg Aaron Ekblad
23 John Klingberg Mark Giordano Oliver Ekman-Larsson Mark Giordano
24 Oliver Ekman-Larsson Tyson Barrie Seth Jones Ryan Ellis
25 Aaron Ekblad Aaron Ekblad Matt Dumba Matt Dumba
26 Jared Spurgeon Ryan McDonagh Jared Spurgeon Jared Spurgeon
27 Oscar Klefbom Shayne Gostisbehere Oscar Klefbom Oscar Klefbom
28 Cam Fowler Keith Yandle Cam Fowler Cam Fowler
29 Shayne Gostisbehere Justin Faulk Shayne Gostisbehere Shayne Gostisbehere
30 Seth Jones Ryan Ellis Jacob Trouba Seth Jones
31 Jacob Trouba Matt Dumba Colton Parayko Jacob Trouba
32 Colton Parayko Oscar Klefbom Jake Gardiner Colton Parayko
33 Jake Gardiner Jake Gardiner Brent Seabrook Jake Gardiner
34 Brent Seabrook Brent Seabrook Matt Niskanen Brent Seabrook
35 Matt Niskanen Colton Parayko Mike Green Matt Niskanen
36 Dmitry Orlov Jacob Trouba Dion Phaneuf Dmitry Orlov
37 Dion Phaneuf Nick Leddy Keith Yandle Dion Phaneuf
38 Keith Yandle Jake Muzzin Justin Faulk Keith Yandle
39 Justin Faulk Dmitry Orlov Tyson Barrie Justin Faulk
40 Jeff Petry Cam Fowler Nikita Zaitsev Jeff Petry


Michael Finewax had Zach Werenski 6th overall. The average composite draft position was 13.25.


Not too many defensemen make it to the NHL as a teenager. Even fewer dominate. But that is exactly was Zach Werenski did as a 19-year-old last season. He had 47 points and quarterbacked the Columbus power play. He finished third in the Calder Trophy race because the field was so strong. He would have won it most years with the season he had. The kid is going to be a superstar and should continue trending upward in his sophomore season.


Ryan Dadoun had Torey Krug 9th overall. The average composite draft position was 13.75.


Torey Krug is gradually establishing himself as one of the league’s best offensive defensemen. His 51 points in 81 contests last season tied him for seventh among blueliners, and he was in a three-way tie for fourth place with 25 power-play points. I think part of the reason why others rated him lower than my ninth place ranking is his poor minus-10 rating from 2016-17, but I see that as an anomaly that shouldn’t be given much weight when evaluating him going forward. From a Corsi/Fenwick perspective, he was better in 2016-17 than 2015-16 when he was plus-nine and so much of that statistic is luck/team-based that I wouldn’t sweat it too much, especially with Krug playing for a decent team like Boston. I also liked how he bounced back in 2016-17 from his initial run of no points in his first nine games. For me the fact that it didn’t snowball into something worse shows maturity that will hopefully guide him through future cold spells.