by PuckStopsHere on 10/24/08 at 03:14 PM ET
I like to track the leading candidates for the various NHL awards as the season progresses. I am still in the process of picking the first round of award leaders. So far, I have picked Alexander Semin of the Washington Capitals as an early season MVP and Mike Smith of the Tampa Bay Lightning as an early season Vezina leader. Today, I am picking the best defenceman so far in the season.
My pick is Andrei Markov of the Montreal Canadiens.
Markov leads all defencemen in the league with nine points in his six games played. He is tied for the defenceman +/- lead (with Niclas Wallin of the Carolina Hurricanes) at +7. He has played very well so far this season.
Over the past couple of seasons, Markov has established himself as one of the ten best defencemen in the game. He will continue this progression if he continues his play at this level. It is very possible he could enter the debate as to who the best defenceman in the game is by season’s end.
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