ST. LOUIS (NHL Network) – The St. Louis Blues’ Alex Pietrangelo ranked 14th on NHL Network’s countdown show Top 20 Defensemen Right Now last night, ranking the best defenders in the National Hockey League. Pietrangelo, who ranked 16th on last year’s debut countdown, finished one spot ahead of the New York Rangers’ Kevin Shattenkirk and one spot behind the Columbus Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski. In addition to Pietrangelo, teammate Vladimir Tarasenko ranked fourth on NHL Network’s Top 20 Wings Right Now two weeks ago.
Pietrangelo’s 14 goals last season were a career high for the 27-year-old. He led all St. Louis skaters in total ice time and was fourth in points, with 48 in the 2016-17 season.
NHL Network’s Tony Luftman and 20-year NHL defenseman Ken Daneyko counted down the best defensemen based on player performance over the past several seasons, with an emphasis on the 2016-2017 season. The ranking also weighted players’ projected performance in the 2017-2018 season, taking into account those returning from injury and expectant breakout seasons from young players.
NHL Network’s Top 20 Defensemen Right Now, 1-20:
1. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
2. Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
4. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
5. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
6. P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
7. Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
8. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins
9. Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens
10. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild
11. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes
12. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets
13. Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets
14. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues
15. Kevin Shattenkirk, New York Rangers
16. Dougie Hamilton, Calgary Flames
17. Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers
18. Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames
19. Ryan Ellis, Nashville Predators
20. Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks