Fantasy: Defensemen Composite Rankings

James Guillory / Reuters

Over the next few days, we will be looking at the overall composite rankings for every position on the ice, using the rankings from Yahoo (Y!), ESPN, and Pete Jensen of NHL.com.

The big debate facing fantasy owners is which defenseman should be the first off the board in the draft: Erik Karlsson or P.K. Subban. If these composite rankings are any indication, you can't really go wrong with either, and both should be considered second-round picks at worst.

With that out of the way, let's look at the rest of the field.

Related: Forward Composite Rankings.

While many of the top-40 fantasy defenseman are likely to line up on their respective club's first power-play unit, a better indicator of potential fantasy value is what they can achieve in 5-on-5 situations. As such, if we look at a player's points and shot attempts per 60 minutes at even strength, unexpected names jump out as potential high-end fantasy players.

For example, Victor Hedman led all defensemen by averaging 1.55 points per 60 minutes last season. Hampus Lindholm - who didn't even crack the top 40 below - ranked fourth (1.22), while Dustin Byfuglien (1.21), Matt Niskanen (1.21), Mark Giordano (1.16), Jacob Trouba (1.12), and Brent Seabrook (1.11) also cracked the top 10.

In terms of shot attempts per 60 minutes played, Alexander Edler ranked second behind Karlsson with 15.08, with Jake Muzzin (not listed below) coming in third at 14.7. Giordano (13.6), Byfuglien (13.4), and Trouba (12.4) also cracked the top 10, a further indication that their respective values may be higher than the rankings below may indicate. 

Torey Krug was viewed as a rather sheltered player last season, used primarily in offensive situations and on the man advantage. However, he ranked fifth in shot attempts per 60 with 13.5, meaning he could break out even further if he continues to earn the trust of Boston's coaching staff.

Other players to watch are Christian Ehrhoff (set to benefit from moving from Buffalo to Pittsburgh) and Alex Goligoski (the main man on an upstart Stars' blue line), while question marks surround Brent Burns (moving back to defense after a stint up front), Mike Green (undetermined role under new head coach Barry Trotz) and Dion Phaneuf (who may see a reduction in ice time as Toronto's younger defensemen continue to develop).

Here's a look at the full top 40:

Player Y! ESPN NHL.com Average Rank
Erik Karlsson 17 17 14 16
P.K. Subban 16 33 11 20
Shea Weber 38 26 27 30.3
Duncan Keith 41 51 26 39.3
Keith Yandle 57 45 60 54
Oliver Ekman-Larsson 74 50 46 56.6
Kris Letang 77 34 63 58
Drew Doughty 49 71 59 59.6
Alex Pietrangelo 53 72 56 60.3
Victor Hedman 81 55 72 69.3
Mark Giordano 102 41 85 76
Zdeno Chara 87 65 77 76.3
Kevin Shattenkirk 101 59 69 76.6
Dustin Byfuglien 132 61 39 77.3
James Wisniewski 108 49 105 87.3
Niklas Kronwall 93 70 102 88.3
Ryan McDonagh 90 115 73 92.6
Mike Green 104 76 98 92.6
Ryan Suter 100 108 91 99.6
Torey Krug 99 84 119 100.6
Brent Burns 140 99 110 116.3
Matt Niskanen 95 137 117 116.3
Tyson Barrie 126 104 131 120.3
Christian Ehrhoff 113 170 79 120.6
Cam Fowler 125 129 115 123
Dan Boyle 106 129 149 128
Andrei Markov 173 118 97 129.3
Alex Goligoski 139 138 125 134
John Carlson 133 116 159 136
Brent Seabrook 154 162 126 147.3
Roman Josi 198 106 146 150
Jacob Trouba 163 126 163 150.6
Jay Bouwmeester 187 205 148 151
Dion Phaneuf 131 95 158 161
Justin Schultz 171 187 132 163.3
Andrej Sekera 208 112 173 164.3
Erik Johnson 200 142 152 164.6
Alexander Edler 159 146 196 167
Jason Garrison 168 143 195 168.6
Brian Campbell 129 243 144 172

Up next: Goalies.

[Stats courtesy of Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com]

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Fantasy: Defensemen Composite Rankings
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