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Top 5 Defenseman - Fantasy Hockey

Updated: Oct 13, 2023

Defence is a crucial part of your fantasy team. Whether it’s strictly points or if you extend your categories to hits, blocks, and +/-, it’s important that you select the right defencemen to help you get a win each week. Here are the top 5 blueline specialists that can help your fantasy team.

5. Miro Heiskanen

Arguably one of the best puck-moving defencemen in the NHL, Miro Heiskanen has sights on taking his game to the next level. He took a big step offensively last season, posting 73 points in 79 games. Being able to quarterback the #1 power-play unit, will maximize his time on ice and give him more of an opportunity to produce. According to ESPN, Heiskanen ranked #6 among all skaters in time on ice per game. Heiskanen is only 24 years old and hasn’t even hit his prime yet. If you are looking to draft a defenceman in the first few rounds, he should be an option.

4. Erik Karlsson

Karlsson took home the Norris Trophy last season for the best defenceman in the NHL. Producing over 100 points for the first time since Brian Leetch in 1992. I know many of you think it’s crazy that he isn’t number one or two on your list but let me tell you why. Karlsson was recently traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-way deal. Having Kris Letang on the back end that plays a very similar game as Karlsson, this is going to interfere with his game. Karlsson logged over 25 minutes a game, which ranks him #5 in the entire league. If he is not getting as many minutes, then it will make it difficult for him to produce at the rate he did last season. If the chemistry isn’t there on the first power-play unit and Letang ends up being back there, once again, fewer minutes for Karlsson. He will still give you solid numbers but with these changes, I don’t think he is a number one choice. Expect him to be in the 70-80 point mark.

3. Adam Fox

Ever since Adam Fox joined the league, he’s been able to make the jump easy. Finished 8th in points with 72 in 82 games. He has a very similar playing style to Heiskanen where they both move the puck very well and quarterback the top powerplay unit. Having a reliable partner in K’Andre Miller will give him an opportunity for Fox to jump in on the rush and help produce offensively. Being over 70+ points in his last two seasons, expect him to continue his offensive output and consider him as one of your top defensemen.

2. Rasmus Dahlin

A breakout year for this young defenceman, Rasmus Dahlin is one of the best blue liners in the NHL. Producing 73 points in 78 games, which is 20 points more than the previous year. Dahlin was a +12 last season, a very respectable number considering he was on the Buffalo Sabres. Being able to lead this team, shut down other teams' top lines, and run the power play unit, this kid will be a finalist for the Norris Trophy. With the Buffalo Sabres past the rebuild stage and now battling for a playoff spot, expect Dahlin to take another step in his game. If you are looking for a defenceman early, consider Dahlin.

1. Cale Makar

Makar has arguably been the best defenceman for the past 2-3 years. Ever since his debut in the playoffs in 2019, this kid has not looked back. He has played 238 games in his career and has posted 246 points. Being over a point-per-game defenceman is very rare in today’s game. At the age of 24, he has already won the Norris trophy and a Stanley Cup. He has yet to play a full season because of injuries but in 2021-22 when he played 77 games, he had 86 points. With a juggernaut team like the Avalanche and if he can stay healthy, he will guarantee you 85 to 100 points. Makar should be the first defenceman to go in any draft style.

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