The Top 10 Defenseman in the NHL

Pierce O'LearyContributor IAugust 30, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21:  Drew Doughty #8 of the Los Angeles Kings reacts after the goal of Sami Salo #6 of the Vancouver Canucks during the third period in game four of the Western Conference Quarter-final at Staples Center on April 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

1. Drew Doughty: Doughty scored 16 goals and 59 points last season while playing in all 82 games. Doughty was also a plus 20 and played for the Gold Medal winning Canadian Olympic team. Doughty is only 20 years old and will only get better.

2. Duncan Keith: Keith scored 14 goals and 69 points last season while helping the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. Keith was also a member of Team Canada’s Gold Medal Olympic team. Keith took home the Norris trophy last season and at 27 he’s in the prime of hi career.

3. Shea Weber: Often forgotten since he plays in Nashville Weber is quietly one of the best defenseman in the NHL. Scoring 43 points in 78 GP last season Weber proves he can score and shutdown top forwards with his physical play. Weber is also in his prime at 25 and has one of the hardest shots in the NHL. Weber is yet another member of this list on Team Canada’s Gold Medal winning team.

4. Chris Pronger: Pronger is 35 and seems to get better with age. He played in all 82 games for the Flyers last season scoring 55 points. Pronger was also a +22 and can shutdown anybody in the NHL thanks to his huge frame and ability to make the smart play with the puck. Pronger also played for Canada in the Olympics.

5. Mike Green: Green led all defenseman in scoring last season 19 goals and 76 points in only 75 GP. Green also was an amazing plus 39 last season for the Caps. Green does have some shortcomings in his own zone at times but is a catalyst offensively. At only 24 Green is still young and will be a force for a long time to come.

6. Dan Boyle: Another Canadian Olympian Boyle is 34 and still a force. Boyle scored 58 points in 76 games last season for the Sharks. Boyle can move the puck with the best of them in the NHL and is also able to shutdown the oppositions top players as Boyle was a plus 6 last season.

7. Nicklas Lidstrom: Lidstrom is one of the best defensman of his generation. Lidstrom is 40 years old now but he still scored 49 points last season and was a plus 22. Lidstrom has been the constant in the Red Wings success over the last decade and if he was younger would be at the top of this list.

8. Brent Seabrook: Seabrook is the other half of the Blackhawks top pairing. Seabrook is in his prime at 25 years old and was a member of the Canadian Olympic Team. Seabrook posted 30 points and was a plus 20 in 78 games for the Blackhawks last season.

9. Andrei Markov: Markov is one of the best puck movers in the NHL. He has been the constant in the Habs power play success over the last few seasons. Markov played in only 45 games last season due to injury but still managed 34 points and was a plus 11. Markov is 31 and a pending UFA, he can expect a raise.

10. Sergei Gonchar: The now Ottawa Senator Gonchar is an offensive machine. Gonchar scored 50 points in 62 GP last season but was a minus player. Gonchar is 36 but can still run a PP with the best.

Honarable Mention: Tyler Myers: The Calder Trophy winning Myers will be on this list if he proves his rookie year wasn’t a fluke. You don’t see guys the size of Myers skate the way he does everyday.

Honarable Mention: Tomas Kaberle