Based on the ratings given by EA Sports in NHL 19, either the defensive defenseman is a dying breed, or they are very under-appreciated. Well, these players are here to show that there is still a lot of value in protecting the net and keeping the puck safe.
Starting with the best, these are the defensive defensemen with the highest overall ratings on NHL 19.
Ryan Suter (88 OVR)
Team: Minnesota Wild
Best Stats: Passing 90, Puck Control 90, Shot Blocking 90, Stick Checking 90, Endurance 90
Ryan Suter is the epitome of defensive defensemen in NHL 19 with a grand rating of 88. He pulls in strong fundamental ratings on key defensive attributes, as well as holding an 88 for acceleration, agility, balance, and speed to allow him to keep up with speedy forwards.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (86 OVR)
Team: San Jose Sharks
Best Stats: Stick Checking 92, Shot Blocking 90, Endurance 89, Acceleration 88, Agility 88
Without doing anything particularly out of the ordinary to the score sheet, Marc-Edouard Vlasic has managed to play for Canada 29 times, scoring six points. This is because he does an incredible job of protecting the goal and regaining possession. As you can see, stick checking is his primary weapon, but his 85 ratings in body checking, durability, and strength means that he can get physical if needed as well.
Colton Parayko (85 OVR)
Team: St. Louis Blues
Best Stats: Slap Shot Power 93, Wrist Shot Power 90, Defensive Awareness 89, Shot Blocking 89
Colton Parayko is tough as nails and is more than willing to do whatever it takes to protect his net. With huge numbers in all defensive areas and passing, Parayko is also a threat in the offensive end, boasting a thunderous slap shot and wrist shot that clock in at 93 and 90, respectively.
Christopher Tanev (84 OVR)
Team: Vancouver Canucks
Best Stats: Defensive Awareness 89, Shot Blocking 88, Stick Checking 88, Slap Shot Power 88, Wrist Shot Power 88, Strength 88
With good skating stats, all eclipsing 85, workable puck skills, powerful shots clocking in as 88s on the ratings, Christopher Tanev is all about the defensive aspects of his game. His defensive awareness at 89, shot blocking and stick checking at 88, as well as his 87 in body checking rank him as one of the premier defensive defensemen in NHL 19.
Niklas Hjalmarsson (84 OVR)
Team: Arizona Coyotes
Best Stats: Poise 90, Shot Blocking 90, Stick Checking 90, Defensive Awareness 89
Niklas Hjalmarsson is only one of seven players to have won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015 – proving his immense value as a defenseman. Now a little older and with a team that looks to be the exact opposite of the dynasty that the Swede was a part of, Hjalmarsson still boasts lofty attribute numbers in all defensive areas, with his strength, balance, and endurance at 88 to bolster the numbers listed above.
Other top defensive defensemen in NHL 19
Stick Checking 88, Balance 88, Wrist Shot Power 87
Shot Blocking 90, Stick Checking 90, Body Checking 88
San Jose Sharks
Shot Blocking 89, Stick Checking 88, Endurance 88
Body Checking 90, Shot Blocking 89, Balance 89
Detroit Red Wings
Slap Shot Power 88, Strength 88, Defensive Awareness 88
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