There have been several NHL drafts in the past decade that featured strong crops of defensemen, and the two most recent classes stack up favorably against the best ever.
The 2012 and 2013 drafts are responsible for what could be one of the best collections of rookie defensemen in recent League history. The surprise is that those two draft classes are responsible for NHL-ready players at the position so soon.
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.ca wrote this week about the collection of teenage defensemen around the NHL at the start of the 2013-14 season.
From 2005 to 2013, there were 17 defensemen who did not turn 20 years old by Jan. 15 of their first NHL season and played at least 41 games as a rookie. The most in one season was 2009-10, when there were five teenage rookie defensemen who spent the entire season in the NHL.