Pinning down exactly what defines an elite defenseman is no easy task.
There are so many different facets of the position, so many different skills required to rise from the pack and join that upper echelon. Most importantly, there are so many different yet exceptional ways the position can be played.
Some defenders rise to the top through pure offensive skill, capitalizing on their speed and ability to seamlessly transition between defensive and offensive roles. Others utilize elite positioning and vision to become the best shutdown men in the game, consistently thwarting the sport’s most dynamic offensive stars. There’s no true role or size or style that defines the game’s top blueliners.
Rather, they each bring a different unique blend of the various tools required to succeed at hockey’s highest level, and in doing so, play key roles in helping their clubs compete for the sport’s highest honor.
While their exact ranking may fluctuate year to year, these 10 defensemen are the best in the game heading into 2015-16.