Another day another amazing pre-draft ranking coming your way. Today we look at the top 5 fantasy hockey defenseman going into the season. Of course as always if you enjoy the site follow us on Twitter at DST_Tweets.
5. Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Arizona Coyotes
NHL 2015-16 Stats: GP: 75, G: 21, A: 34, +/-: -6 , PIM: 96
Projected 2016-17 Stats: GP: 79, G: 24, A: 32, +/-: -9 , PIM: 80
OEL is one of my favorite players to watch in the NHL; he's an exciting defenseman who is amazing on the puck but also has that toughness in him as he had upwards of 90 penalty minutes last season. Even though projections say his assists will go down, I think that is crazy now that Domi and Duclair are more acquainted to the NHL. Sadly for him, his goaltending and the other defenseman on his team aren't in the upper echelon which is why he is only number five.
4. Roman Josi - Nashville Predators
NHL 2015-16 Stats: GP: 81, G: 14, A: 47 +/-: -3 , PIM: 61
Projected 2016-17 Stats: GP: 81, G: 14 A: 49, +/-: 4, PIM: 32
I know some of you might not agree that Josi should be in the top five but I do believe he will be a Norris Trophy Candidate. I also think Pekka Rinne is going to have a bounce back year which would help Josi's +/- and I think with PK Subban, his Assists and Goals will go up. Even though many of you think Subban would be the smarter pick out of these two I think when it comes to not just assists and +/- but also Penalty Kill and Power Play points (where Josi will play on both) he is a smarter pick. The only reason I would pick Subban over him was if your league gives a significant amount of points to PIM.
3. Dustin Byfuglien - Winnipeg Jets
NHL 2015-16 Stats: GP: 81, G: 19, A: 34, +/-: 4 , PIM: 119
Projected 2016-17 Stats: GP: 78, G: 19, A: 33, +/-: 3 , PIM: 114
Dustin Byfuglien is coming off a great season for the Winnipeg Jets, and it is about to get a better as they add another dominant goal scorer in Patrik Laine. Byfuglien’s assist and +/- are about to go up this season and could even get the highest points total for defensemen if all goes his way. Sadly, though, the main reason he isn’t higher is the top two d-man have better all around teams which will help them with consistency and +/-.
2. Brent Burns - San Jose Sharks
NHL 2015-16 Stats: GP: 82, G: 27, A: 48, +/-: -5 , PIM: 53
Projected 2016-17 Stats: GP: 82, G: 28, A: 43, +/-: -3 , PIM: 50
Brent Burns had an amazing season last year as he lead NHL Defenseman in goals by 6 and kept that play going as he helped lead the San Jose Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final. If the World Cup of Hockey and the playoffs showed anything Burns will be a man on a mission this year and will increase his goal scoring, assisting and even his +/-. It's hard to pick any negative for him; he's just that fucking good. Just a shame he is in the same era as our number one (you can all guess).
1. Erik Karlsson - Ottawa Senators
NHL 2015-16 Stats: GP: 82, G: 16, A: 66 +/-: -2 , PIM: 50
Projected 2016-17 Stats: GP: 82, G: 19, A: 63, +/-: -5 , PIM: 44
Erik Karlsson is a once in a generation player. He had 82 points last year which led NHL defenseman and now I think he will even beat that and get to the coveted 85 point mark. Also, with the new acquisition of Derick Brassard he has a new blueline partner for the powerplay which can add more power play points this season, and anyone that has played fantasy before knows how important that is. I envy everyone who will draft him because I know I will not get a good enough draft pick.
I love doing these, even though I get some hate for my picks there is nothing better than a good debate online. If you enjoy the site follow us on Twitter at @DST_Tweets. Thank you for the support.