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1. Victor Hedman
He has scored at least 10 goals in six consecutive seasons and recorded 50+ points in three straight. This while driving possession and logging a ton of minutes for arguably the best team in the league.
2. John Carlson
Carlson has recorded 138 points over the last two seasons and sits 2nd among *all* defensemen in Goals Above Replacement (+28.4) during that time, per EvolvingHockey.com.
3. Seth Jones
Jones has everything you look for in a top defenseman. He can skate like the wind, keeps excellent gaps, has size to box out, and can put up points in bunches. If he played in a different market he'd garner a lot more attention.
4. Morgan Rielly
His defensive play is nothing to write home about but he's overwhelmingly good with the puck on his stick and that more than makes up for any potential warts in his own zone. I think he plays on the perfect team to maximize his talents.
5. Dougie Hamilton
Hamilton ranks 1st in Corsi For% and Expected Goals For% among 168 defenders to log 1,500+ minutes of 5v5 ice from 2017-19. He is an elite play driver, he gets positive results (52.10 Goals For% during that span), and he contributes quite a bit offensively – in the way of shots and points.
Honorable mention goes to Thomas Chabot. I think he'll find himself on this list next summer.
In no particular order the top D for the Eastern conference.
Victor Hedman- rock of the franchise and really the only true stud albeit with decent support in other areas and a pretty good goalie.
PK Subban- yes he's back in the east and like him or not he does what he does well, moves the puck, scores and makes a presence on the ice in many ways. Is he the PK of 3 years ago- no but he's damn good.
Dougie Hamilton- what will it take for this guy to get some love? He's good, quietly good and has been good wherever he plays so not sure what to think about those who cannot appreciate him.
Seth Jones- what's not to like about Jones? Capable, smart, durable and can lead a team. He's everything David Poile thought he would become.
Ivan Provorov- He had a down year but so did the entire team amidst the chaotic end of Hakstol's reign. He's going to be a gooder and perhaps the breakout comes this year.
Top-5 wingers in the Western Conference?
Top-5 wingers in the Eastern Conference?
Top-5 centers in the Western Conference?
Top-5 centers in the Eastern Conference?
Which team has the worst forward core?
Which team has the best defense core?
Which team has the worst defense core?