Skip to main content

Fantasy defenseman top 50 rankings for 2019-20

Krug, Gustafsson among intriguing potential 2020 UFAs; Chabot leads next RFA class

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / Fantasy Editor's fantasy hockey top 50 defenseman rankings are based on past production and expectations for the 2019-20 season in standard Yahoo leagues. For more fantasy coverage, visit and subscribe for free to the NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast.


MORE FANTASY RANKINGS: Top 250 | F | C | LW | RW | G | Teams

STAT PROJECTIONS: Forward points | D-men | Goalie/team wins | Mock draft



Tyson Barrie, TOR -- He is tied with Brent Burns for third at the position with 55 power-play points over the past two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche. Barrie joins the Toronto Maple Leafs, who had the eighth best power-play percentage (21.8) last season. It's worth noting Barrie averaged the second most power-play ice time per game among defensemen last season (4:03) behind Carlson (4:05) and could capture the coveted first unit placement over Morgan Rielly. Barrie, the second highest ranked potential 2020 UFA defenseman behind Roman Josi, is just ahead of Rielly in the rankings and worth targeting among the 10 best at the position.

Torey Krug, BOS -- Despite missing 18 games last season, Krug finished third among defensemen with 30 PPP behind Keith Yandle (39) and John Carlson (33). Krug's contract status (potential 2020 UFA) gives him additional fantasy intrigue and makes him worthy of a top 15 selection at the position. He has missed time in each of the past two seasons, but the reward far outweighs the risk. The Boston Bruins power play has finished top five in consecutive seasons, giving Krug a ceiling to finish among the 5-10 best defensemen.

Erik Gustafsson, CHI -- He broke out with 60 points (17 goals, 43 assists) in 79 games last season, leaving fantasy owners wondering if his success is sustainable. He led Blackhawks defensemen in power-play ice time per game (3:02) on a unit with forwards Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat. After Strome was acquired, the Blackhawks power play went from last in the NHL (12.7 percent through Nov. 25) to sixth in the League to end the season (23.4 percent; Nov. 26 to April 7). Gustafsson, another potential 2020 UFA, can build on his PPP total (18 last season) on a likely top 10 power-play unit.



Standard fantasy categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, power-play points, shots on goal and hits for skaters. Value has been quantified based on factors including past production, power-play usage, injury history, sleeper upside, anticipated regression or bounce-back candidacy, age and contract status (current unrestricted and restricted free agents listed below). Potential 2020 UFAs (*) and RFAs (**) are also noted. ... INJ. indicates player with injury concern(s) from the end of last season or this offseason.

*** Dustin Byfuglien has been granted a personal leave of absence.

1. Erik Karlsson, SJS (SAME; INJ.)

2. Brent Burns, SJS (SAME)

3. Victor Hedman, TBL (SAME; INJ.)

4. John Carlson, WSH (SAME)

5. P.K. Subban, NJD (SAME)

6. Roman Josi, NSH* (SAME)

7. John Klingberg, DAL (+1)

8. Tyson Barrie, TOR* (+2)

9. Kris Letang, PIT (-2)

10. Morgan Rielly, TOR (+1)

11. Seth Jones, CBJ (+1)

12. Mark Giordano, CGY (+1)

13. Torey Krug, BOS* (+1)

14. Dustin Byfuglien, WPG*** (-5)

15. Keith Yandle, FLA (SAME)

16. Erik Gustafsson, CHI* (SAME)

17. Shea Weber, MTL (SAME)

18. Alex Pietrangelo, STL* (+1)

19. Thomas Chabot, OTT** (+1)

20. Cale Makar, COL (-2)

21. Matt Dumba, MIN (SAME; INJ.)

22. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, ARI (SAME)

23. Rasmus Dahlin, BUF (+2)

24. Drew Doughty, LAK (-1)

25. Dougie Hamilton, CAR (-1)

26. Miro Heiskanen, DAL (SAME)

27. Quinn Hughes, VAN (SAME)

28. Charlie McAvoy, BOS (SAME)

29. Shea Theodore, VGK (SAME)

30. Jacob Trouba, NYR (SAME)

31. Aaron Ekblad, FLA (SAME)

32. Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI (+1)

33. Zach Werenski, CBJ (+1)

34. Ryan Ellis, NSH (+1)

35. Ivan Provorov, PHI (+1)

36. Mattias Ekholm, NSH (+1)

37. Mikhail Sergachev, TBL** (+2)

38. Rasmus Ristolainen, BUF (-6)

39. Ryan Suter, MIN (-1)

40. Jake Muzzin, TOR* (+1)

41. Josh Morrissey, WPG (+1)

42. Oscar Klefbom, EDM (-2)

43. Alexander Edler, VAN (SAME)

44. Colton Parayko, STL (SAME)

45. Ryan Pulock, NYI** (SAME)

46. Vince Dunn, STL** (SAME)

47. Justin Faulk, CAR* (SAME)

48. Filip Hronek, DET (SAME)

49. Samuel Girard, COL (+1)

50. Devon Toews, NYI** (NEW)

Dropped out: Mike Green, DET* (INJ.)

Just missed: Adam Fox, NYR; Ryan McDonagh, TBL; Esa Lindell, DAL; Cam Fowler, ANA; Travis Sanheim, PHI; Jeff Petry, MTL; Erik Brannstrom, OTT; Jared Spurgeon, MIN; Justin Schultz, PIT*; Darnell Nurse, EDM**;Nate Schmidt, VGK; Duncan Keith, CHI; Jaccob Slavin, CAR

Read: Fantasy D-man rankings from July 9


Listen: NHL Fantasy on Ice podcast

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.