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Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Lists Watch ’17: Byfuglien 12th Best Defenseman

In what has now become an ongoing weekly series for us, we now have NHL Network’s list of “top 20 defenseman” and again a Winnipeg Jets player has made the list and again it’s possible you don’t agree at all with where he was placed or possibly who he was placed over.

Dustin Byfuglien is – according to NHL Network (or more to the point, according to NHLN’s research and production staff) – the 12th best defenseman right now in the NHL.

Let’s go over the different variations of arguments that can stem from this list..

  • Jacob Trouba should be on this list
  • Jacob Trouba is underrated
  • Jacob Trouba should be higher than Dustin Byfuglien
  • Dustin Byfuglien should not be on this list
  • Dustin Byfuglien is overrated
  • It’s fine that Trouba isn’t on the list, but Byfuglien should be higher
  • Jacob Trouba is overrated
  • Wait… Cam Fowler is on this list?!

This is also your weekly reminder than lists like this are made to generate conversation (not to mention clicks, views and thankfully give blogs some sort of content on lazy August Sundays) and shouldn’t be considered “be all end all” or anything more that something to spark conversation.

That said, lists like this do give an indication of where “general consensus” may lie with these players. It doesn’t seem like advance statistics play a role in determining placement of a player – or if it does, it’s not a big role. Perhaps it should, but as we’ve seen countless times before, the hockey community as a whole hasn’t quite embraced the importance of analytics. If they had, it’s likely a player like Jaromir Jagr is signed to a contract well before a player like Matt Hendricks  signs… But this is just a very random example and has nothing to do with anything.

At any rate, about this list… What do you think? Is Byfuglien still one of the 20 best in the league? Should Jacob Trouba be on this list? Let us know in the comments below or on our social medias!

Training camps and the flow of real actual hockey news and not arbitrary lists can not come soon enough!

  • FishWhiskey

    It seems to me that if Buf was given clearly defined roles and duties by a coach who he listened to he is in the top ten in the league. With the Jets Buf just seems to do as he pleases. Take dumb penalties with no consequence, take the night or a shift off and there is no voice of authority to reign him in. Having Buf is like having a Game of Thrones dragon on the team but the Jets but with no Targerian to direct him. PoMo seems to have no control of him at all.