Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy d-man expert all season long.
Dan Boyle has been one of the premiere offensive defensemen in the National Hockey League for a while now, and that offensive prowess again made him one of the first defensemen to go in fantasy drafts this season. We here at NHL.com thought so highly of Boyle that he was ranked fifth in our preseason rankings and has managed to stay in the top 10 through last week based largely on that potential and reputation.
Boyle forged that reputation by posting 306 points (77 goals, 229 assists) in 427 games over the previous six seasons. He has had only one season of less than 50 points since the League's work stoppage, and that largely was due to his missing all but 37 games in 2007-08, yet he still managed to put up 25 points. His 0.72 points per game over that span is an average most forwards would relish and it is reason enough to be patient with the early struggles for the 35-year-old. However, there are plenty of red flags that should have his owners feeling a bit antsy.