Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/09/13 at 07:59 AM ET
from David Staples of the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal,
Everywhere you go in Oil Country, fans, bloggers, commentators and sportswriters are saying the Edmonton Oilers could really, really, really use a top NHL defenceman.
But how to get one?
How did the cream of the NHL’s defensive crop end up where they have ended up?
I looked at a group of top 35-40 NHL dmen, defined as “top” because they led the league in even strength time-on-ice and also got more than .6 points per 60 minutes of five-on-five play and/or played against good-to-tough quality of competition (the players they faced averaged a positive Corsi — shots-at-net plus-minus — and/or CorsiRel, according to Behind the Net).
Top d-men Drew Doughty, Alex Pietrangelo, Erik Karlsson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and up-and-coming Jonas Brodin were all acquired by their teams hitting the jackpot to some extent with high draft picks. There was some luck here, because for every team that uses a top pick on a top d-man prospect, there’s at least one dud or average player for every star defender.
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