Having a top shutdown pairing that can also provide offense is an absolute necessity in today’s NHL if a franchise desires to win a Stanley Cup.
Most of these top pairings contain true and proven No. 1 defensemen, a player who annually is amongst his team’s leaders in ice time as well as points for defensemen.
Sometimes a team is fortunate to have two of these rare commodities, sometimes on the same pairing.
Other teams have these types of defensemen who are waiting to reach their full potential, true No. 1 D Men in waiting.
Here’s a power ranking of the top 10 defensive pairings in the NHL today: