Top 10 UFA Defensemen

This years defensive pool is already thinned by the recent signings of Alex Goligoski and Keith Yandle, which would have been fairly high on this list. Mostly compromised of bottom pairing defensman, this free agency doesn’t have too much to offer; but at the higher end, there are some pretty good ones.

1. Brian Campbell

While playing alongside Aaron Ekblad, Brian Campbell was the silent killer, he moves the puck out of his zone extremely well, and makes limited mistakes. He had huge impacts on his teams CF%, and xGF%, which is good. He doesn’t produce the most points but the other things he does more than make up for it. He will have no problem being a top two defensemen on whatever team that signs him.

Expected value: $6-7 million

2.Jason Demers

While not being quite as good as Campbell; and apparently not as good as Klingberg and Goligoski; he very well does posses great defensive as well as offensive abilities. He has great impacts on xGF%, and CF%. He was really the only legitimately good defensive defensemen on the Stars this year. He can play top two if needed.

Expected value: $5-6 million

3.Dan Hamhuis

While playing on one of the worst teams in the league, Hamhuis certainly did not look bad. He produces decent impacts on xGF%, and CF%. He is good defensively and is the last defensemen available that wouldn’t be horrible playing top 2 minutes, although I see Hamhuis as more of a #3.

Estimated value: $4-5 million

4.John-Micheal Liles

Oddly used in an offensive role in Carolina this season, they really did not play him to his strengths, which is defense. He puts up decent point production, but his selling point is his shot suppression, in the past 2 years among D who played >1500 minutes, he ranks 18th in zone start adjusted unblocked shot attempts against per 60 minutes, ahead of the likes of Muzzin, Doughty, Gardiner, etc. Could be a good 4th defensemen who helps defensively.

Estimated value: $2 million

5.David Schlemko

Even though he plays against relatively average competition and he starts more offensive zone faceoffs than the others doesn’t mean he isn’t a good player. His impacts on CF% and xGF% are better than Hamhuis. He could be a good number 4 somewhere.

Estimated value: $1.5-2.0 million

6.Ben Lovejoy

And now we hit the “big drop”, Ben Lovejoy is by no means terrible, but he is definitely best suited on the bottom pair. He’s relatively average everywhere, gets top 4 ice time, and plays like a decent number 5. He is coming off a cup win which helps boost his value.

Estimated value: $1-2 million

7.Christian Ehrhoff

Basically does what David Schlemko does but he is definitely worse. He starts offensively most of the time and has decent results. Not a great CF%, or xGF% player, but he can help you out on the bottom pair.

Estimated value: $1-2 million
8.Justin Schultz

This man is an absolute pylon defensively, letting players walk all over him. There are definitely worse than him defensively, but he sure is not good. Offensively, he produces pretty well though, even for his zone starts. Again not great in CF%, or xGF%. Winning a cup will boost his value.

Estimated value: $1-2 million

9.Eric Gryba

The man cannot score to save his life, his offensive abilities are very poor. But, he does have a good ability to defend. He is played in a defensive role and does well defensively. Not a guy you want in your top 4, but he can play as your 6th man, PK specialist.

Estimated value: $1.0-1.5 million

10.Luke Schenn

Yeah, so, there really isn’t much depth this year at all. Schenn actually puts up points at a good rate which isn’t what you think about when you hear Luke Schenn. He has standard deployment and does poorly possesion wise, but trust me, there are much worse options than Luke Schenn

Honourable mentions:

Adam Pardy, Zach Trotman.

2 thoughts on “Top 10 UFA Defensemen”

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