Hockey is upon us! Tonight the puck drops for the first time in the 2015-2016 season and therefor the fantasy season kicks off as well. Most of us have our drafts done, but for those who are waiting till last minute, I hope this list will help. Defense is one of the toughest positions to plan for in fantasy hockey. Do your best to try and get some the guys on my top 25 list.
1) P.K. Subban (MTL)
With a Norris trophy under his belt and finally hitting that 60 point mark, as long as he stays on his feet Subban is a sure thing from the blue line.
2) Erik Karlsson (OTT)
If you couldn't get P.K., Karlsson is a manageable consolation prize. With 303 points in 6 years in the NHL, (his worst during an injury riddled lockout season), He'll be sure to put points on the board.
3) Duncan Keith (CHI)
Another cup under his belt, Keith has been one of the most consistent blueliners over the years. Now with a Conn Smythe in his pocket he surely has the motivation to keep the production going.
4) Mark Giordano (CGY)
Giordano has spent some time on the IR the last couple years but still has maintained just shy of the 50 point mark both seasons.
5) Drew Doughty (LA)
The Kings had a tough year last season, missing the playoffs after winning the cup. Look for Doughty to help spark the offense and get L.A. back on track.
6) Oliver Ekman-Larsson (ARI)
This guy had a lot of expectations last year and came up short due to a struggling Coyotes team. His point totals didn't decrease though, and he's only missed 2 games in 2 years.
7) Kris Letang (PIT)
Picture this... Letang to Crosby to Kessel, GOAL! On the powerplay!
8) Ryan McDonagh (NYR)
Now at 26, McDonagh is looking to come into his own and add to his 33 points from last year. Not to mention over a third of his point come on the powerplay.
9) Alex Pietrangelo (STL)
St. Louis has been a great regular season offensive team the past few years. Look for the 25 year old Pietrangelo to break that 50 point line.
10) Ryan Suter (MIN)
This guy plays A LOT of minutes in A LOT of games. If Minnesota's scoring Suter probably had something to do with it.
11) Shea Weber (NSH)
He's has a big, mean shot from the point, that helped Nashville show their worth last year. Look for the captain to improve on his 45 point season from a year ago.
12) Victor Hedman (TB)
Tampa Bay has Stamkos in the front, Bishop in the back. Hedman looks like he's ready to step up and be their guy on the blueline.
13) Brent Seabrook (CHI)
Usually on a line with Keith, Seabrook just signed a massive extension and will be looking to prove his worth.
14) Jay Bouwmeester (STL)
Bouwmeester had a tough year last year. Now at 32, he's the veteran presence on the blue line for St. Louis, so he should step up and return to the 40-50 point mark.
15) Roman Josi (NSH)
Filling in big skates after Suter's departure, Josi scored 40 assists last season. He's only 25. 25.
16) Anton Stralman (TB)
Stralman is looking to make an impact somewhere. Finishing his first 82 game season, he finished with a career high 39 points last year.
17) Niklas Kronwall (DET)
Kronwall had to step up big time for Detroit when Lidstrom retired and Stuart left for San Jose. He's done that and more keeping the playoff streak alive for the Red Wings.
18) Tyson Barrie (COL)
Barrie scored 53 points on a struggling Colorado team. Imagine if the Avalanche can get their offense rolling like they did 2 years ago.
19) Kevin Shattenkirk (STL)
Shattenkirk was a mid first round draft pick and is living up to it. After taking a big jump in 2013 - 2014 he maintained those numbers last year.
20) Dustin Byfuglien (WPG)
Big Buff can play as a winger or a defender. That alone makes him valuable to any fantasy roster, his 45 points last year makes him even better.
21) John Carlson (WSH)
Here's a guy who's only 25 and has already taken that leap in consistency. He scored 55 points last year with 43 assists.
22) Tyler Myers (WPG)
The former Calder trophy winner struggled for sometime in Buffalo. In 47 games last season he scored 13 points with the Sabres. Then came the trade to Winnipeg where he scored 15 points in 24 games.
23) Aaron Ekblad (FLO)
In his rookie year for the Panthers, Ekblad scored 39 points and Florida came within points of making the playoffs. As long as he avoids a sophomore slump, Ekblad should be a great under the radar pickup.
24) Keith Yandle (NYR)
Yandle scored 52 points last year between The Coyotes and the Rangers. Now settled in New York, he should be solid fire power from the blueline.
25) Kris Russell (CGY)
Here's another under the radar guy that you can probably get in the last couple rounds, or even off the waiver wire. With a career high 34 points, Russel is only 28, so there is always time to go up.
They say that defense wins championships, that can certainly apply to fantasy sports as well. If you can get your hands on some of these guys your defense will put up points every night. On the same side if other people in your league don't, then they just have a 4 to 5 player hole on their roster. Happy hockey everyone!