We proceed our journey across the Metropolitan Division by wanting on the top-15 defensemen within the division going into the 2022-23 season. We already regarded on the forwards every week in the past, and you’ll verify them out right here.
Subsequent week: The Goalies.
The Penguins have two gamers crack my top-15, together with considered one of their huge offseason additions.
1. Adam Fox, New York Rangers. Aside from Igor Shesterkin, I believe Fox is the perfect participant on the Rangers (and that features the forwards) and he’s positively already among the finest general defenders within the league. He already has a Norris Trophy and at his age, manufacturing, and skill I might not rule out one other one in his profession. He can do all of it, in all three zones, and in each state of affairs. An all-around stud.
2. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins. Talking of nice all-around gamers, Letang nonetheless has it. And I’m truthfully not even certain if he has misplaced a step but. If he has, it would solely be a fraction of a step. If that. Even in his mid-30s he’s an elite participant and nonetheless a top-10 vote-getter within the Norris Trophy race nearly yearly. He’s really coming off among the finest seasons of his profession at age 34 and stays a core participant in Pittsburgh.
3. Dougie Hamilton, New Jersey Devils. This is likely to be my very own private bias coming into play right here, however I’ve at all times been an enormous fan of Hamilton’s recreation. He is without doubt one of the league’s finest possession drivers, he can rating, and is best in his personal finish that he generally will get credit score for being. When he’s wholesome he is without doubt one of the finest blueliners within the league.
4. John Carlson, Washington Capitals. His defensive recreation has tailed off rather a lot the previous couple of years, however he can nonetheless deliver it at an elite stage offensively at each even-strength and the ability play.
5. Jacob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes. An excellent defender that has extra offensive punch to his recreation than you may notice. Perhaps not when it comes to goal-scoring, however when it comes to transferring the puck and serving to to drive the workforce’s offense. He’s kinda like a modern-day Paul Martin.
6. Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets in all probability overpaid him a bit, however truthfully I’m okay with it. They signed him at a time the place they wanted to point out they might preserve a star, he’s nonetheless in his prime, and he’s a extremely good participant. If you’re going to give any person a bit more money, make it any person on the high of your roster.
7. Noah Dobson, New York Islanders. Am I getting forward of myself with this one? Perhaps. However man did he look good final yr, and I believe he’s on his technique to huge issues now and sooner or later. An actual vibrant spot on an in any other case declining workforce.
8. Adam Pelech, New York Islanders. The traditional New York Islander: He won’t do something to face out offensively, however as strong of a defender as you can see within the NHL.
9. Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers anticipated him to be a top-pairing defender, they use him like a top-pairing defender, however he has not likely develop into a top-pairing defender. That doesn’t make him a foul participant by any stretch of the creativeness. He’s simply merely not the participant he was alleged to be.
10. Jeff Petry, Pittsburgh Penguins. Petry has been one of the underrated gamers within the league going again to his days in Edmonton. It has solely been over the previous few years that he has began to get recognition for his play from him, and he’s going to be an enormous improve for the Penguins’ protection this season.
11. Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals. Not any person that’s going to hold your protection, however a extremely strong No. 2 defender that may make an influence offensively. He sort of will get misplaced within the shuffle a bit in Washington given the star energy they’ve all through the lineup.
12. Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders. Pelech and Pulock are excellent on their very own, they’re super collectively as a pairing. For all of their flaws, the Islanders do have a extremely good protection to construct round.
13. Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes. He isn’t going to offer you a lot in the best way of offense, however he’s an impressive defender and quietly been a key a part of the Hurricanes’ rise within the Japanese Convention. He’s their Brian Dumoulin.
14. Brent Burns, Carolina Hurricanes. Burns can nonetheless rating, however he isn’t a superb defender at this level in his profession (and that was by no means actually his energy, both). I do assume he’s going to be an amazing addition to the Hurricanes, although. A greater model of what that they had in Tony DeAngelo.
15. Jacob Trouba, New York Rangers. Very bodily, nearly to a fault. His contract from him sucks, and I believed the Rangers ought to have tried to dump it, however that’s simpler stated than accomplished. Having stated all of that, he does brings some worth as a defend each in his personal zone and offensively.