24 November 2020
The NHL season hasn’t kicked off yet, the start being postponed for three months until at least the beginning of January.
What we know so far are the favorites at winning the 2020/2021 championship. Bet on Hockey Live at Unibet, and you can enjoy the best odds: Colorado Avalanche are the favorites, with +750 odds, followed by Vegas Golden Knights (+800), and Tampa Bay Lightning (+900).
Until then, let’s take a look at some of the most important players to watch this season. For example, the defensemen.
The NHL defensemen aren’t just for defending in a game. Their role is much more important than this, as they impact the game at both ends. They can set up a goal, break up a big play, even score, and much more.
These being said, here are the best 10 NHL defensemen this season:
10. Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars
The Finnish is only 21 years old, but he scored 35 points in 68 games of the regular season. Then, in the postseason, he set a record for most points by a defenseman from the Stars – 26 (6 goals and 20 assists).
9. Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins
McAvoy had the best season so far in 2019/2020, with most points and assists in his career. He also had the most ice time per game out of the Bruins players (23:10 per game), and the most blocked shots, with 131. And he is still only 22 years old.
8. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
With an average ice time of 25:44, Letang was among the best in last season’s standings. He is three times Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins, and has an impressive more than 600 points in his career so far – regular season and postseason combined. That means an average of over 40 points per season.
7. Dougie Hamilton, Carolina Hurricanes
Hamilton has the most goals among the NHL defensemen in the last three seasons (49). He had a very good season last year, before sustaining a fibula injury. The massive 27 years old has an impressive height: 6’6.
6. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Makar won the Calder Trophy last year, and had the most goals among NHL rookie defensemen (12). He also scored four game-winning goals, and had the third ice time among rookies (21:01).
5. Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
Last season, Jones had the most ice time for the Blue Jackets (25:17), and that was for the fifth season in a row. With 30 points scored, he is regarded as “the new Victor Hedman”. In the previous three seasons, he scored almost 150 points combined.
4. Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights
Pietrangelo had an excellent 2019/2020 season, with 16 goals and 52 points in 70 games. With an average ice time of 24:11 per game, he was one of the best players of the St. Louis Blues, being the captain in the past four years, and winning the Stanley Cup in 2019. He switched to the Knights last month.
3. John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Last year, Carlson had 60 assists and 15 goals, being the NHL defensemen leader. He recorded more than one point per game (69 games), and became the first player in more than two decades to achieve this. In 2018, he won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals.
2. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Josi won the Norris Trophy, after recording his most points (65), goals (16) and assists (49) in a single season. He also was the third in the NHL as average ice time, with 25:47 per game.
1. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Last season, Hedman was the third NHL defenseman, after John Carlson and Roman Josi. He had 11 goals and 44 assists. For the combined last four years, he is also on the third place in points, with 244.
Although he was only third for the Norris Trophy, last year, this was his third straight final. In 2018, he managed to win the award. But last season he won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning over the Dallas Stars, and that’s one more reason to place him at number 1 spot at this moment.