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Too Early NHL Fantasy Defense Rankings 2023-24

By Kapil Sapkota / 17 September 2023 06:45 AM

Source : twitter

The NHL fantasy defense rankings for 2023 are 1. Erik Karlsson 2. Cale Makar 3. Adam Fox 4. Dougie Hamilton 5. Quinn Hughes and 6. Rasmus Dahlin.

NHL fantasy hockey is heavily influenced by the players' past performances in the regular and Stanley Cup playoffs.

Other factors such as power-play usage, estimated defense pairs, injury history, contract status, age of the player, etc. also impact the player's position in fantasy hockey.

The following table shows the fantasy hockey point projection of the NHL defencemen in 2023-24.

Please remember that the actual performance of the player may vary with these point estimations. You can use it as a guide for decision-making in different fantasy leagues.

NHL Fantasy Defense Ranking Projection 2023-24

PlayerProjected Points
10. Josh Morrissey68 Points
9. John Carlson69 Points
8. Roman Josi71 Points
7. Miro Heiskanen75 Points
6. Rasmus Dahlin76 Points
5. Quinn Hughes80 Points
4. Dougie Hamilton80 Points
3. Adam Fox81 Points
2. Cale Makar82 Points
1. Erik Karlsson86 Points

10. Josh Morrissey - 68 Points

Morrissey has established himself as one of the strongest defensemen in the NHL. An alternate captain of the Winnipeg Jets was selected for his first National Hockey League All-Star Game in 2023.

The Canadian player completed his NHL 2022-23 regular season, posting 16 goals and 60 assists for 76 points.

Since his presence in the NHL, Morrissey's performance has been improving gradually each year.

Drafted in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Jets, the defenceman was assigned to the Jets franchise's AHL affiliate, Manitoba Moose for a season.

Morrissey recorded his first NHL goal in a 4-0 win game over the Chicago Blackhawks on November 15, 2016.

Throughout the 2017-18 season with the Jets, the player contributed 26 points to help the franchise qualify for the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs.

He played his 5 junior seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders of WHL and one with the Kelowna Rockets. Morrissey helped the Rockets advance to the final of the 2015 Memorial Cup.

9. John Carlson - 69 Points

Carlson is one of the leading defencemen currently in the NHL. The alternate captain of the Washington Capitals was drafted by the franchise in the 2008 NHL Draft.

Following his selection in the NHL franchise, Carlson was assigned to play for the Hershey Bears, the Jets' AHL affiliate.

He debuted in the NHL in 2009 and was named to the NHL All-Rookie team in 2011.

Source : instagram

During the NHL 2022-23 season, the player appeared in just 40 regular games and posted 29 points.

In the previous regular season, Carlson posted 17 goals and 54 assists for 71 points. He recorded 5 points including a goal during the playoffs.

The defenceman became Stanley Cup Champion with the Capitals in 2018.

At the end of the 2017-18 regular season, he led NHL defencemen with 68 points. Carlson was selected for the NHL All-Star Game in 2019 & 2020.

Internationally, Carlson won Gold in the 2010 World Junior Championships representing Team U.S.

8. Roman Josi - 71 Points

Josi is among the best players for fantasy hockey indeed. He debuted in the NHL with the Nashville Predators in the 2011-12 season.

Before his journey in the NHL, Josi played a season with the Predators' AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

In the 2019-20 season, Josi set the record of the first Predators' and first Swiss player to win the James Norris Memorial Trophy in history.

Josi appeared in 67 regular games during the 2022-23 season, missing the rest of the season followed by an upper-body injury. Still, he led the Predators with 59 points.

The player completed the 2021-22 regular season with a record of 23 goals and 73 assists for 96 points. He scored a goal and an assist appearing in 4 games during the playoffs.

The Swiss defenseman was selected for the NHL All-Star Game four times in 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2022. He was named to the NHL First All-Star team in 2020 and 2022.

Josi leads the Predators franchise for more assists with 402 and holds the record for the most points in a season (96) in 2021-22.

7. Miro Heiskanen - 75 Points

Heiskanen is a decent option to keep in the fantasy hockey sleepers defense. An alternate captain of the Dallas Stars was drafted with third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the franchise.

The defenceman played his first NHL match on October 4, 2018, in a winning match against the Arizona Coyotes.

Source : twitter

Heiskanen completed the 2022-23 regular season posting a record of 11 goals and 62 assists. In the playoffs, Josi scored 12 points including a goal appearing in 19 games.

In his rookie season in 2018-19, he helped the Stars advance to the Stanley Cup playoffs with his 17 points. Heiskanen contributed 2 goals in the playoff series.

The Finnish player was selected for his first NHL All-Star Game in 2019. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team in the same year.

Internationally, Heiskanen won gold in the 2022 IIHF World Championship representing Finland. Before that, he was a gold medalist at the IIHF World U18 Championship in 2016.

6. Rasmus Dahlin - 76 Points

The prominent defenceman and alternate captain of the Buffalo Sabres, Dahlin is the first overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Dahlin notched his first goal in his NHL career on October 13, 2018, in a 3-0 winning match against the Arizona Coyotes.

He accomplished the feat of 30 points in the NHL before age 19. In 2019, the player was selected as the finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the top rookie in the league.

Throughout the 2022-23 regular season, Dahlin posted 15 goals and 58 assists appearing in a total of 78 matches.

The Swedish defenceman was selected for the NHL All-Star Game in 2022 and 2023.

Prior to his NHL journey, Dahlin became the CHL champion with the Frölunda HC in 2017.

Internationally, Dahlin won silver in the 2018 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships representing Sweden.

5. Quinn Hughes - 80 Points

The young defenceman Hughes is playing in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks and is also the captain of the franchise. He was drafted in 2018 and debuted in the league in the 2018-19 season.

Hughes finished the 2022-23 regular season posting a record of 7 goals and 69 assists for 76 points.

Source : facebook

He recorded his first NHL goal over the Los Angeles Kings in the 2019-20 season. Hughes became a Calder Memorial Trophy finalist that season.

In 2020, the player was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. He was also elected to the NHL All-Star Game in the same year.

Previous to his NHL career, the defenceman played for the University of Michigan for two seasons. He participated in the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in 2015.

In 2017, Hughes won gold with Team USA in the 2017 IIHF U18 World Championship.

4. Dougie Hamilton - 80 Points

Hamilton is currently playing for the  New Jersey Devils. Previously, the Canadian defenceman played for the Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary Flames, and the Boston Bruins.

The player was drafted by the Bruins in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and debuted in the league with them on January 19, 2013, in a 3-1 winning match against the New York Rangers.

The defenceman had a fantastic season in 2022-23. Throughout the regular season with the Devils, Hamilton accumulated 22 goals and 52 assists for 74 points. During the playoffs, he scored a goal and 4 assists.

Hamilton was selected for his first NHL All-Star Game in 2020 while he was playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. In 2021, he was named to the Second All-Star Team.

In advance of his NHL career, Hamilton was playing for the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL, with whom he captured the Bobby Smith Trophy in 2010-11.

Internationally, the player won gold with the Canadian national team in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in 2010.

3. Adam Fox - 81 Points

The New York Rangers player, Fox was selected in the 2016 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames.

Fox completed the 2022-23 regular season with a record of 12 goals and 60 assists for 72 points. In the playoffs, he posted 8 points appearing in 7 games.

Source : twitter

Following his rookie season in 2019-20, he became the fifth rookie defenceman to record at least 40 points in a season in the history of the Rangers franchise.

The defenceman captured the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2021. He was selected in the NHL First All-Star Team in 2021 and 2023.

The player was named for the NHL All-Star Game back to back in 2022 and 2023.

Fox captured a gold medal with the U.S. team in the World Junior Championships in 2017 and bronze in the following year.

2. Cale Makar - 82 Points

The Colorado Avalanche defenceman, Makar was drafted by the franchise in 2017 and debuted in the NHL in the 2019-20 season.

The Canadian player concluded the 2022-23 season with 17 goals and 49 assists, appearing in 60 games. In the playoffs, he had 5 points including a goal.

The ice hockey star had the best NHL season in 2021-22, posting 28 goals and 58 assists in the regular season in a total of 77 games played.

Makar has won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2020. In the same year, he was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. The player was selected in the NHL First All-Star Team in 2021 and 2022.

He became the Stanley Cup Champion with the Avalanche in 2022. Makar was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy and the Conn Smythe Trophy the same year.

The defenceman played the NHL All-Star Game back to back in 2022 and 2023.

1. Erik Karlsson - 86 Points

Karlsson is undoubtedly one of the best players in fantasy hockey. Currently playing in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2008.

In addition to the Penguins and Senators, the player has also played for the San Jose Sharks.

The defenceman had his career-high records following the 2022-23 regular season. He scored 25 goals and 76 assists for 101 points appearing in all 82 regular season games.

Source : instagram

He was selected as the captain of the Senators in 2014. At the conclusion of the 2015-16 regular season, Karlsson led the league in assists with 66 while with the Senators franchise.

During his career with the Sharks, he recorded his first NHL career hat-trick in a match against the Anaheim Ducks on November 1, 2022.

Karlsson has been selected for the NHL All-Star Game 7 times, most recently in 2023.

He has captured the James Norris Memorial Trophy thrice in 2012, 2015 and 2023. The player was named to the NHL First All-Star team five times.

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