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#1 Defensemen

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

There may only be 10 true No. 1’s in the league.

There’s Doughty, Hedman, Karlsson, Oliver-Ekman Larsson in Arizona, Ryan Suter in Minnesota, Roman Josi and Subban in Nashville, Alex Pietrangleo in St. Louis and the fast-rising Seth Jones in Columbus.

There’s true No. 1’s to some but not others because they don’t check all the boxes (PP and PK, for instance), like Brent Burns in San Jose, Dustin Byfuglien in Winnipeg, John Klingberg in Dallas, John Carlson in Washington, Kris Letang in Pittsburgh.

Or others like Mark Giordano do both but don’t get universal love.

Most often, they’re drafted in the top 10, but not always.

All 31 NHL teams theoretically have one of those No. 1s, your best guy. Like Rasmus Ristolainen, the Sabres top defenceman on a perennially bad team. 

much more, good read...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink



I honestly don’t think we even have a true #2 on our team but.. Sure.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 05/15/18 at 08:22 AM ET


I honestly don’t think we even have a true #2 on our team but.. Sure.

Hence the word “theoretically”.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 05/15/18 at 09:08 AM ET

Primis's avatar

I can’t agree enough with this article.

I’ve been saying for a while that true bonafide #1 defensemen have become a dying breed, and their development has something to do with it.

As the league has expanded, the number of true #1 d-men have slowly contracted.  It’s a huge advantage to your team if you can get yourself one, and you can see in Chicago right now what happens when your #1 d-man starts to really age and is game fall off without a replacement ready and waiting.

Posted by Primis on 05/15/18 at 09:45 AM ET


The Wings haven’t had a #1 or #2 since Lidstrom retired and it doesn’t look like they have one in the system or will be able to draft one this year. They have to hope someone exceeds expectations because to get back to being a cup contender they’ll need one.

Posted by evileye on 05/15/18 at 01:03 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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