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  • 02/11/2013, 11:03AM ET

Hockey Tourney: Rank These 6 D-Men According to Best Upside/Future

BM. (65-17-11) vs Argos. (184-101-29)
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Rank these d-men according to best upside/future:

Doughty, Karlsson, Pietrangelo, Keith, Enstrom, Myers.

My rankings with short explanations:

1. E. Karlsson - 22 years old, currently the best offensive-defenseman in the league. He's young, he's fast, he's smart, and his play is going to continue to flourish in the coming years. The Sens are an older team, so expect Karlsson to become the main leader in the coming years.

2. A. Pietrangelo - 23 years old, and in 2 full seasons he has notched 94 points for the up-and-coming Blues team. He has a very bright future on this young Blues team.

3. D. Doughty - Suffered a concussion last year, but came back strong in the playoffs by scoring 16 points in 20 games en route to the Cup. 23 years old, great offensive and defensive abilities.

4. T. Myers - 23 years old, young, huge, and tough. He can put up some points, and also put you through the glass.

5. D. Keith - 29 years old, proven leader. Not extremely physical so expect a long career.

6. T. Enstrom - 28 years old, solid passing, good vision and hands, more defensive than the others.

Out of room.

Good luck Argos.


My change is:
1. Pietrangelo
2. Doughty
3. Karlsson

First, they are all essentially the same age. Doughty was born in Dec, Alex in Jan, and Erik in May. All from the same draft class. Age is no factor

Karlsson did win the Norris last year, but he did not deserve it. He won it based off flashy point totals. He may be the best offensive d-men, but so was Mike Green. He is too one-deminsional. Doughty and Pietrangelo are defensive & physical

It is tough to explain this in an argument, you just have to watch them play really, as there is no stats involved really. But Karlsson is close to a liability in his own end

He can kinda quantify this with Karlsson being a career -14, despite all his points. While Alex is +25 and Doughty +4

Or you can mention how Alex has lead the best defensive team in hockey in ice time over the last two years, 3 minutes more than second on the team. Or Doughty leading the Stanley Cup champs in ice-time. While Erik led the team that was 24th in GA last year

EK - 144 hits, 196 blocked shots, in 228 games
DD - 532 hits, 375 bs, in 326
AP - 161 hits, 283 bs, in 188

Alex is also the only one with more career takeways than giveaways


The NHL is changing. It's plain to see. It is not the 80's anymore.

The big, tough, physical style of defensive play has fallen by the wayside. What has moved into it's place is the fast, smart, offensive-defensive style of play.

Teams these days have what they like to call a "shutdown pair" that does not concentrate on offense, but concentrates on solely defending against the opponent's top line. The ever-changing rules of the game have made it essential that most players be two-dimensional right from the get-go.

Karlsson is not a big physical player because he doesn't need to be. The rest of the defense (with the exception of Gonchar) takes care of that (a la Letang in Pittsburgh).

What makes Karlsson the easy number one choice is not only the fact that he's deadly with his stick, evasive as hell on his skates, or has great vision on the ice, it's the fact that he's going to be stepping up in the coming years as the main leader on Ottawa's team when guys like Gonchar, Spezza, and Alfredsson retire. He will be expected to fill that role.

And he's a career -14 due to 10-11 when the Senators allowed 250 goals and had a -58 goal differential. Bad team effort.


Thing is, not only are Doughty and Pietrangelo wayyyyyyyyy better defensively, they play the new, fast game style.

Neither are as fast or offensive as Erik, but both are among the best in the game, and would probably be top 5 skaters in the league among d-men. Last year Alex was 5th in points, and has double digit goal totals in each of his first two seasons. Meanwhile Doughty has had double digit goal totals each of the last three seasons, and showed in the playoffs how good offensively he is when he led the league in assists and had 16 points in 20 playoff games, and was probably 2nd in Conn Smythe voting.

So you think a guy that is not a shutdown player, and not playing against the other teams best players, and is simply on the ice to score, has more potential than two d-men who are not only their teams shutdown guys, but also their best offensive d-men as well?

The games best d-men over the years do it at both ends of the ice. Guys like Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Chara, Weber, Pronger, etc. You have to stop the opponent too. Erik doesn't.

Erik is a lot like what Mike Green was. Big numbers, great offensive talent, but not the games best. And what happened to Green?


You said it yourself, "Neither are as fast or offensive as Erik, but both are among the best in the game."

I agree with this statement. Both are among the best in the game, but Karlsson IS the best in the game. At only 21 years old, Erik won the Norris Trophy. That wasn't by mistake. When talking about the best young d-men in the league, Karlsson is a fixture in the #1 spot. He has the perfect skill set for continued success at his position.

In case you've forgotten, Doughty has had a declining point total the last 3 years. Until he shows that his offensive ability is here to stay, he shouldn't even be in this conversation. Whether you want to admit it or not, the NHL has developed into a league where scoring goals is the top priority for every player but the goons and goalies

Yes, I feel that Karlsson has more potential than both Doughty and Pietrangelo. I feel that Karlsson's superior offensive prowess more than makes up for the fact that he plays a less physical game than Doughty and Pietrangelo. He had 25 more points than the #2 scoring d-man last year.

Mike Green benefitted from playing with Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin.

Karlsson is the leagues #1.


Karlsson is the best at the game in one aspect, the offensive side. Something that really should be the second role of the d-men, after taking care of defending. Doughty and Alex are both probably top 10 offensively. Defensively, Karlsson is no where near to being considered one of the better defenders, while Doughty and Alex are. Like you said, Letang is a fair comparison for Erik, so is Mike Green. The other two are more like Scott Niedermayer, or Lidstom lite

Doughty has had declining point totals, but increasing hit and blocked shot totals, and becoming better defensively. Something Erik should think about doing too


Erik has the potential future for leadership, like you said. But the other two are leaders today. Doughty is the most vocal Kin,, and the Kings tried trading Dustin Brown last year, simply so they can give Drew the captaincy. Alex has taken the role of leadership among Blue D-men. Erik is not leader on a team with Phillips and Gonchar

Team wise, Alex has been on a WJC Gold winning team, and the President trophy winners/ Doughty has won Olympic & WJC Gold, & a Stanley Cup. Both played massive roles on their respected teams. Erik has won nothing

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February 11, 2013  01:16 PM ET

Why is Enstrom even in the conversation with these others guys?

And Keith at his age really doesn't belong either.

February 11, 2013  01:22 PM ET

Tough to pick between Pietrangelo and Doughty.

February 11, 2013  01:51 PM ET

Good luck

February 11, 2013  02:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Why is Enstrom even in the conversation with these others guys?And Keith at his age really doesn't belong either.

I was making up a top 5 and forgot to take of someone. Enstrom has been a top 5 scorer for D-men for like 3 years straight now. Solid defensively, just plays on a terrible team. Vastly underrated IMO. Just wanted to see where he'd go on the discussion.

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February 11, 2013  02:56 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I was making up a top 5 and forgot to take of someone. Enstrom has been a top 5 scorer for D-men for like 3 years straight now. Solid defensively, just plays on a terrible team. Vastly underrated IMO. Just wanted to see where he'd go on the discussion.

Well when he is older than guys who are better him like Shea Weber, Yandle, Ekman-Larsson, Seabrook, Schultz, Suter, Del Zotto, Letang, McDonagh....and the list goes on and on.

February 11, 2013  03:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

I think Letang should have been in this argument as well!

Letang would rank 6th in this group, for upside. If this were best right now, he would higher (along with Keith).

I think Del Zotto and Schultz should have been in here, over Keith and Enstrom. That way, all the players would have been from the 2008 draft class. Heck, that class was so deep on D, you could make it the top 10 and add guys like Schenn, Gardiner, Sbisa, Bogosian, John Carlson, Josi, or Hamonic.

February 11, 2013  03:13 PM ET

Damn it! Forgot to talk about leadership.

February 11, 2013  03:21 PM ET

Spezza wont be thinking of retiring for at least 6+ more years, unless he gets injured. He is only 29.

February 11, 2013  03:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Well when he is older than guys who are better him like Shea Weber, Yandle, Ekman-Larsson, Seabrook, Schultz, Suter, Del Zotto, Letang, McDonagh....and the list goes on and on.

Weber is awesome and he wasn't included because he hasn't faultered yet.

I chose all of these guys either started out strong and then struggled or got hurt... OR they haven't hit their stride at the top of their game yet. There's smoething that stands out about them in some way.

February 11, 2013  08:59 PM ET

Karlsson did win the Norris last year, but he did not deserve it. He won it based off flashy point totals.


sounds like sour grapes to me.

vote <-

February 12, 2013  12:45 AM ET

looking forward to the last args. interesting so far.

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