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Best D-man in the NHL?


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Last night Erik Karlsson had 4 assists, which marks the second time this season he's posted a 4 point game. The significance of this being he's now in a tie with Jamie Benn for second (!!) in the NHL in points with 59 in 53 games including currently leading the league in assists. This is pretty impressive stuff I'd say no matter where you're coming from, but the question I'd like to pose is who do you guys think is the best D-man in the NHL currently?

Obviously the name defensemen is primarily composed of the word defence for a reason. The primary concern with Karlsson being the best D-man in the league has always come down too him being too much of a free-wheeler and basically just being a forward with him jumping up on the rush and not focusing enough on shutting down the opposition. However, if you rate a Dman based on being an impact player for their team, you can't deny what he's doing this season (and others for that matter) is pretty impressive stuff. And with him already having won 2 Norris trophies at the tender age of 25, is Karlsson the best defenseman in the NHL?

Now unfortunately, the best D often goes to whoever has the most points which kind of defeats the purpose. There's many factors that go into being the best such as shutdown ability, physicality, skating, ability to breakout, passing, shooting etc. Here are the other candidates I'd consider at the top, I'm interested to hear your guys' thoughts. Its also fun to dream about one day having a guy like this one day as currently we don't have any game changing defenseman. 

Shea Weber - the fact that this guy hasn't won a Norris already is a bit of a farce IMO. Has consistently been one of, if not the most well rounded D in the league for a long time now. Perfect combo of shutdown, size, physicality, offense and obviously that cannon of a shot

Duncan Keith - As much as I hate him, i'd love to have him. The other guy with 2 Norris' at this point, he also has the cups to go with it obviously and you can't deny the impact he's had on the Hawks winning their championships. So skilled, great skater, tough as nails (dirty), runs the offense so well. 

Drew Doughty - not as big a stats guy, but in a similar manner to Keith, has the cups and was a HUGE reason why. This guy eats up massive minutes for LA and is about as solid as they come. So smooth, best shutdown guy? Great possession numbers, he does it all.

Brent Burns - Burns is a bit of an anomaly to me. Is he forward or D? Who even knows. All I know is that he's ugly and really good at hockey.

PK Subban - hate him or love him, he's a game changing dynamic defenseman. Maybe a bit trigger happy but he's physical, has a huge clapper, aggressive, powerful, and has the ability to be the best player on the ice when he wants.

Others: Letang, OEL, Suter, Byfuglien, Giordano, and I think Ekblad (not yet but could be at the top in a few years time).


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I watched a few games this year and although karlsson is a force offensively,he is part of the reason that the sens suck ass. For him to be considered the nhls top defenseman in my eyes he needs to do other things than lead the rush. 


Shea weber gets my vote.


Also think Seabrook is super underrated.  I don't know about norris caliber but damn he's good at both ends. 

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OEL should be on your list, instead of just an HM. Coyotes brass were pretty upset he wasn't at the ASG. The guy radiates eliteness. On a team like NSH, LAK or FLA, theres no question in my mind he'd be a Norris candidate. Guy carries the yotes defense on his back.

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I think Shea Weber is the most complete Dman in the league.

Doughty and Keith, as much as I dislike them, are a close 2nd and 3rd.

In a few years I think it will be Ekblad's title to hold.

Karlsson is a treat to watch and incredibly skilled, but I can't get over the fact that he is simply average at defending.  He's not a guy I would be confident in putting out with 2 minutes left to defend a 1 goal lead.

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