August just keeps churning along, and with it, the NHL Network’s ranking list. No one agrees with every placement on these things, believe me. I thought Tarasenko maybe could’ve been higher, I felt that Ryan O’Reilly was about right.
I absolutely cannot argue with their list of defensemen, though:
If you’re unable to watch the video, here’s the list:
NHL Network’s Top 20 Defensemen Right Now, 1-20:
- Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
- Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
- Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks
- Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
- John Carlson, Washington Capitals
- Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
- Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
- Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
- John Klingberg, Dallas Stars
- P.K. Subban, New Jersey Devils
- Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins
- Jacob Trouba, New York Rangers
- Torey Krug, Boston Bruins
- Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars
- Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
- Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues
- Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
That is a list of absolute heavyweights right there. Top to bottom, it’s solid stuff. Four teams are represented by two players each: the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Boston Bruins, the San Jose Sharks, and the St. Louis Blues. Three of those teams reached their conference’s finals, and two of them reached the Stanley Cup Final.
One of them, obviously, won the Stanley Cup.
Colton Parayko at 19 on the list shows that he’s on the league’s radar now. Parayko finished the season with 10 goals and 18 assists, and a +20 rating on a team that was last in the league halfway through the season. He tacked on two goals and ten assists in the playoffs.
Alex Pietrangelo at number 11 is also extremely fair. It’s good to see that the defenseman that many derided as “not captain material” (and who did, like the rest of the team, have a rough start to the season) finished so strongly that the NHL Network is placing him above P.K. Subban and Ryan Suter. Pietrangelo has been the defensive heart of the team for a few years now, and Parayko’s not far behind. Considering the impact Parayko has made in just four seasons with the NHL club, it’s not a stretch to believe that you’ll be seeing his name further up the list this time next year.