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Top 10 Best NHL Defensemen 2024 Rankings

Ranking the Top 10 Best NHL Defensemen such as Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Adam Fox and more for 2023-2024 NHL season


By admin | April 25, 2024

The NHL is in somewhat of a golden era for defensemen. There are veteran stars of the league who continue to hold down the fort for their respective teams, new up-and-coming defensemen are being primed to take over, and then there is Cole Makar. We’ll take a look at the Top 10 NHL Defensemen 2024 Rankings of the season.

Honorable Mention

Noah Dobson

Team: New York Islanders

The New York Islanders lack star power and have struggled to score goals throughout the season. That makes Noah Dobson’s 10 goals and 70 points more impressive. You could just imagine the numbers Dobson could produce on a better roster.

At just 24 years old Noah Dobson is very underrated around the league. However should he continue this production, that will soon change.

Top 10 NHL Defensemen 2024 Rankings

10. Drew Doughty

Team: Los Angeles Kings

Placing Drew Doughty on this list will divide fans. Some believe Drew Doughty is still an elite NHL defenseman, while others believe he is coasting by and living off his reputation.

In his 16th year in the league, the 34-year-old leads the NHL in average time on ice per game, showing the veteran still has juice in the tank.

Doughty isn’t known for his offensive productivity, but he has sneakily scored 15 goals this year, the most he scored since his career-high year in 2009.

9. Josh Morrissey

Team: Winnipeg Jets

Josh Morrissey, a consistently dependable yet overlooked NHL defenseman for several seasons, truly showcased his talent in the 2022-23 season when he went for a career-high 76 points.

This year, Morrissey is showing that last season wasn’t a one-off fluke as he continues to bring the offensive production with 69 points.

The 29-year-old took a big jump in his game two years ago, and should he maintain playing at this level, he will be a very valuable asset to the Winnipeg Jets.

8. Jaccob Slavin

Team: Carolina Hurricanes

Jaccob Slavin has been long known as a shutdown defenseman. He is a force in his zone and one of the top defending defensemen in the league. He leads one of the best defenses in the NHL in the Carolina Hurricanes and does it by staying out of the penalty box.

But Slavin seems to be breaking that mold with some increased offensive production and making a jump to being one of the best defensemen, period.

He hit a career-high 42 points in 2021-22, and he isn’t far off it again this year with 37 points.

7. Victor Hedman

Team: Tampa Bay Lightning

Many may have thought that Victor Hedman’s reign as one of the most dominant defensemen in the league was over after a lackluster 2022-23 season. But this year he has once again shown why he was a top-3 defenseman for so many years.

The future Hall of Famer has scored 13 goals and accounted for 76 points this year. He remains a pivotal piece in the Tampa Bay Lightning setup as he continues to hold off any retirement speculation.

6. Charlie McAvoy

Team: Boston Bruins

Charlie McAvoy has started to flourish into a great player for the Boston Bruins over the past few years. You may want to get used to seeing him on these lists because at just 26 years old, he is here to stay.

McAvoy plays a ton, averaging 24:51 minutes of ice time per game. He is a solid two-way defender who can offer offensive options. He has accounted for 47 points this season, with a few more points in the last remaining games, McAvoy could pass 50 points for the third consecutive season.

5. Adam Fox

Team: New York Rangers

Adam Fox is a divisive player. Some like him, some hate him, and there aren’t many in the middle.

The New York Rangers blueliner is a two-time Norris Trophy finalist, and he won the award in 2020-21 and was runner-up last season.

Despite missing almost all of November with injuries, Adam Fox has still been very productive for the Rangers with 17 goals and 73 points. He is an elite defenseman, even if you are on the side that hates him, it’s impossible to make an argument to the contrary.

4. Miro Heiskanen

Team: Dallas Stars

Miro Heiskanen drew a lot of attention to himself last season with an outstanding 11 goals, 73 points, and skating on average 25:29 per game.

His scoring numbers have been off that pace this year with 9 goals and 54 points, but he remains an elite defenseman.

The 24-year-old Finish blueliner is a joy to watch on the ice. His skating is flawless and his Hockey IQ is fantastic. Since the departure of John Klinburg from the Dallas Stars, Miro Heiskanen has taken over as the top defender on the team. And you best get used to seeing him on top lists like this for years to come. 

3. Roman Josi

Team: Nashville Predators

Roman Josi should be a two-time Norris Trophy winner. It remains a question how Josi’s 23 goals and 96 points in 2021-22 weren’t enough to earn him the hardware.

Alas, Roman Josi remains one of the game’s elite defensemen in his 13th year in the league. In that time, Josi has always produced good offensive numbers, which is more impressive as the Nashville Predators have typically struggled to rack up points.

This year, at the age of 33, he has tied his career-high goals tally with 23 and has had his second-best year in points with 85.

The Swiss defender has been a staple in the NHL for years, and the fact he is still playing at this level secures him a top-3 spot.

2. Cale Makar

Team: Colorado Avalanche

Simply put, Cole Makar is the top defensemen in NHL. Since entering the National Hockey League in 2019-20, he has more points than any other defenseman in the NHL with 333 points in 313 games.

Makar has scored 20 goals this year and has amassed a career-high 87 points in his hunt for his fourth straight Norris Trophy nomination.

The 25-year-old is transcending the game. He does things other players just can’t. By the time it is all said and done, Makar is on a trajectory for multiple Norris Trophies and a hall-of-fame career.

1. Quinn Hughes

Team: Vancouver Canucks

Cale Makar may be the best defenseman in the league, but it looks like Quinn Hughes will be taking home his first Norris Trophy as the best Defensemen in NHL this year.

Hughes is finally getting to show what he is capable of when his team is performing well and being competitive. He leads all defensemen with 92 points and has scored 17 goals on top of that. He also has a fantastic plus/minus of plus33.

It’s been a defining year for the 24-year-old as he’s playing the best hockey of his career. It’s time that the hockey world recognized him as one of the best defensemen in the game, and there’s no reason he can’t stay at the top.

We have Quinn Hughes winning the Norris Trophy NHL Best Defenseman Award of the 2023-2024 season. Where do you rank him in the NHL Defenseman Rankings? Rank below to be added in the NHL Power Rankings.

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Players Count 10
  1. Kaedan Korczak

  2. Daniil Miromanov

  3. Dylan Coghlan

  4. Nicolas Hague

  5. Gavin Bayreuther

  6. Nelson Nogier

  7. Dylan Samberg

  8. Ville Heinola

  9. Dysin Mayo

  10. Cam Dineen

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