Forbes’ Top 150 Fantasy Defensemen

With the NHL season only a couple of sleeps away, fantasy leagues are opening up and some of you still have to make decisions on who to draft and who to keep heading into the upcoming fantasy hockey season.

While it’s always fun to lock down those top-end players, some deeper leagues require fantasy owners to find those sleepers in the depths of league free agency. Who’s going to have that breakout year? Which player is set to have a career season? None of us can actually predict the future, but we all like to think that we can look ahead to the end of the season with the hopes of finding that all-star defenceman that no one even thought about.

Now, before we go any further, keep in mind these are simple projections. While some league take into consideration what’s called ‘banger stats’ including hits and blocked shots, this list takes a more generic look at the top 150 defensemen. Some of them are young and some may be out of place according to your projections heading into the season. But these are personal rankings and might not line up with the way you’re thinking for your fantasy club.

I am, however, interested in your sleeper picks and any of your feedback. If you have any fantasy topics or questions moving forward, please don’t hesitate to find me on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes or email me at

With that being said, here’s a look at how the top 150 defensemen unfold.

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks, NHL, Fantasy Hockey
Burns’ is key to the Sharks’ success and plays the same role for fantasy owners. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Top 10

1) Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
2) Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
3) Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
4) Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
5) P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
6) Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
7) Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
8) Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia Flyers
9) John Klingberg, Dallas Stars
10) John Carlson, Washington Capitals

11 to 50

11) Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
12) Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
13) Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
14) Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
15) Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens
16) Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
17) Tyson Barrie, Colorado Avalanche
18) Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues
19) Rasmus Ristolainen, Buffalo Sabres
20) Torey Krug, Boston Bruins
21) Jake Muzzin, Los Angeles Kings
22) Keith Yandle, Florida Panthers
23) Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
24) Dougie Hamilton, Calgary Flames
25) Sami Vatanen, Anaheim Ducks
26) Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
27) Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues
28) Alec Martinez, Los Angeles Kings
29) T.J. Brodie, Calgary Flames
30) Brent Seabrook, Chicago Blackhawks
31) Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks
32) Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks
33) Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
34) Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
35) Olli Maatta, Pittsburgh Penguins
36) Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
***37) Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim Ducks (unsigned RFA)
38) Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild
39) Anton Stralman, Tampa Bay Lightning
*40) Michael Stone, Arizona Coyotes (recovering from a knee injury)
41) Nick Leddy, New York Islanders
42) Kris Russell, Edmonton Oilers
43) Alex Goligoski, Arizona Coyotes
***44) Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets (unsigned RFA)
45) Matt Niskanen, Washington Capitals
46) Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators

Jacob Trouba, Winnipeg Jets, Fantasy Hockey
If he can get signed, Jacob Trouba will be an instrumental part of any fantasy owner’s lineup. (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)

47) Dion Phaneuf, Ottawa Senators
48) Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
49) Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes
50) Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

51 to 100

51) Nikita Zaitsev, Toronto Maple Leafs
52) Andrei Markov, Montreal Canadiens
53) Johnny Boychuk, New York Islanders
54) Zach Bogosian, Buffalo Sabres
55) Ryan Pulock, New York Islanders
56) Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs
57) Trevor Daley, Pittsburgh Penguins
58) Mark Streit, Philadelphia Flyers
59) Brian Campbell, Chicago Blackhawks
60) Mike Green, Detroit Red Wings
61) Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
62) Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota Wild
63) Alexander Edler, Vancouver Canucks
64) Jack Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets
65) Jason Demers, Florida Panthers
66) Erik Johnson, Colorado Avalanche
67) Derrick Pouliot, Pittsburgh Penguins
68) Kevin Connauton, Arizona Coyotes
69) Oscar Klefbom, Edmonton Oilers
70) Dennis Wideman, Calgary Flames
**71) Christian Ehrhoff, Unrestricted Free Agent (on a PTO with Boston)
72) Danny DeKeyser, Detroit Red Wings
73) Cody Ceci, Ottawa Senators
74) Jason Garrison, Tampa Bay Lightning
75) David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets
76) Kevin Klein, New York Rangers
77) Justin Braun, San Jose Sharks
78) Niklas Hjalmarsson, Chicago Blackhawks
79) Andrej Sekera, Edmonton Oilers
80) Cody Franson, Buffalo Sabres
81) Tyler Myers, Winnipeg Jets
**82) James Wisniewski, Unrestricted Free Agent
83) Francois Beauchemin, Colorado Avalanche
84) Travis Hamonic, New York Islanders
85) Marco Scandella, Minnesota Wild
86) Ryan Murray, Columbus Blue Jackets
87) Alex Petrovic, Florida Panthers
88) Dmitry Orlov, Washington Capitals
*89) Ryan Ellis, Nashville Predators (recovering from an upper-body injury)
**90) Marek Zidlicky, Unrestricted Free Agent
91) Jay Bouwmeester, St. Louis Blues
92) Kevin Bieksa, Anaheim Ducks
93) Justin Schultz, Pittsburgh Penguins
94) Marc Staal, New York Rangers
95) Tobias Enstrom, Winnipeg Jets
96) Adam Larsson, Edmonton Oilers
97) Dmitry Kulikov, Buffalo Sabres
98) Brayden McNabb, Los Angeles Kings
99) Karl Alzner, Washington Capitals
100) Michael Del Zotto, Philadelphia Flyers

101 to 150

101) David Schlemko, San Jose Sharks
102) Kevan Miller, Boston Bruins
103) Connor Murphy, Arizona Coyotes
104) Josh Manson, Anaheim Ducks
105) Nathan Beaulieu, Montreal Canadiens
106) Johnny Oduya, Dallas Stars
107) Brian Dumoulin, Pittsburgh Penguins
108) John Moore, New Jersey Devils
109) Damon Severson, New Jersey Devils
110) Erik Gustafsson, Chicago Blackhawks

Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes, NHL, Fantasy Hockey
Carolina’s Slavin could impress fantasy owners this season. (Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

111) Andrej Sustr, Tampa Bay Lightning
112) Paul Martin, San Jose Sharks
113) Christopher Tanev, Vancouver Canucks
114) Ben Hutton, Vancouver Canucks
115) Ben Lovejoy, New Jersey Devils
116) Darnell Nurse, Edmonton Oilers
117) Jonathan Ericsson, Detroit Red Wings
118) Radko Gudas, Philadelphia Flyers
119) Dan Hamhuis, Dallas Stars
120) Jakub Kindl, Florida Panthers
121) Nick Holden, New York Rangers
122) Jeff Petry, Montreal Canadiens
123) Brendan Smith, Detroit Red Wings
124) Brandon Davidson, Edmonton Oilers
125) Jonas Brodin, Minnesota Wild
126) Simon Depres, Anaheim Ducks
127) Jaccob Slavin, Carolina Hurricanes
128) Joel Edmundson, St. Louis Blues
129) Thomas Hickey, New York Islanders
130) Colin Miller, Boston Bruins
131) Chris Wideman, Ottawa Senators
132) Calvin de Haan, New York Islanders
133) Nate Schmidt, Washington Capitals
134) Ian Cole, Pittsburgh Penguins
135) Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes
136) Jyrki Jokipakka, Calgary Flames
137) John-Michael Liles, Boston Bruins
138) Braydon Coburn, Tampa Bay Lightning
139) Luke Schenn, Arizona Coyotes
140) Michal Rozsival, Chicago Blackhawks
141) Mark Pysyk, Florida Panthers
142) Jake McCabe, Buffalo Sabres
143) Alexey Marchenko, Detroit Red Wings
144) Trevor van Riemsdyk, Chicago Blackhawks
145) Nikita Nesterov, Tampa Bay Lightning
146) Erik Gudbranson, Vancouver Canucks
147) Josh Gorges, Buffalo Sabres
148) Brenden Dillon, San Jose Sharks
149) Dan Girardi, New York Rangers
150) Andy Greene, New Jersey Devils

Young Guns for the Future

1) Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
2) Nikita Zadorov, Colorado Avalanche
3) Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes
4) Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers
5) Travis Sanheim, Philadelphia Flyers
6) Mikhail Sergachev, Montreal Canadiens

If you’d like to talk more about your fantasy hockey season leave your comment below or find me on Twitter.