Depth Charts for NHL Top Four Defense Groups

September 7, 2019 By Brandon Altomonte
Brandon Altomonte is ready for the ice as he breaks down the NHL top-4 defense depth charts to see where the minutes will be coming from.

Finding quality fantasy defensemen can be tricky once all the big names are off the board. Here’s a break down of what to expect each team’s top four defense group will look like.


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By nature, defensemen score less than forwards and could slide down the rankings as a result. However, you still need to fill out a roster, so don’t make your team too top-heavy by only focusing on forwards. Unless your league only uses skater/flex slots, you’ll need to draft a blue line.

Getting point producers on defense is no easy task — there are very few that are reliable for 50 points on a yearly basis. Once all the top producers are drafted, you’ll need to turn your attention to defenders playing in a No. 2 role, or ones that are utilized on the second pairing.


2019 Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Goalkeepers | Defensemen | Forwards


That is where you can put these defense depth charts to use. There are some important things to note though.

You will often hear that a player is more valuable in real life than he is in the fantasy realm. That is especially true for defensemen, as the ones who play in a stay at home role don’t produce much value in the majority of leagues. A good example of this is the Arizona Coyotes, where two of their top four aren’t fantasy stars.

There are a number of rookies slated to earn a top-four role. Be wary of drafting them, as they are no guarantee to lock down that position long term. Most notably Josh Mahura in Anaheim, as there are a few others in their system with an equal chance of earning the spot.

Biggest Offseason Improvements

New Jersey Devils: Made the biggest acquisition by trading for P.K. Subban.

New York Rangers: Jacob Trouba becomes their No. 1 D-man, and Adam Fox is poised to make the team.

Ottawa Senators: Erik Brannstrom has high upside, and free agent signing Ron Hainsey can be his mentor.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci add more offensive power to a talented lineup.

Vancouver Canucks: Quinn Hughes could challenge for the Calder Trophy, while Tyler Myers solidifies their top four.

Biggest Offseason Regression

Winnipeg Jets: Lost three quality defenders in Jacob Trouba, Tyler Myers, and Ben Chiarot. They will need to rely on Neal Pionk, Dmitry Kulikov in top four roles, or hope a youngster like Sami Niku is ready for that responsibility.

Nashville Predators: They traded away P.K. Subban, and will look for Dante Fabbro to fill the void. Despite the change, Nashville still boasts one of the strongest top four units in the league.

Top Four Defense Depth Charts

TeamLeft Side #1Left Side #2Right Side #1Right Side #2
Anaheim DucksHampus LindholmJosh MahuraJosh MansonCam Fowler
Arizona CoyotesOliver Ekman-LarssonJakob ChychrunJason DemersNiklas Hjalmarsson
Boston BruinsMatt GrzelcykTorey KrugCharlie McAvoyBrandon Carlo
Buffalo SabresRasmus DahlinJake McCabeRasmus RistolainenBrandon Montour
Calgary FlamesMark GiordanoNoah HanifinT.J. BrodieRasmus Andersson
Carolina HurricanesJaccob SlavinBrett PesceDougie HamiltonJustin Faulk
Chicago BlackhawksDuncan KeithOlli MaattaErik GustafssonBrent Seabrook
Colorado AvalancheSamuel GirardNikita ZadorovErik JohnsonCale Makar
Columbus Blue JacketsZach WerenskiRyan MurraySeth JonesDavid Savard
Dallas StarsEsa LindellMiro HeiskanenJohn KlingbergRoman Polak
Detroit Red WingsDanny DeKeyserDennis CholowskiFilip HronekMike Green
Edmonton OilersOscar KlefbomDarnell NurseAdam LarssonEvan Bouchard
Florida PanthersKeith YandleMike MathesonAaron EkbladAnton Stralman
Los Angeles KingsDerek ForbortAlec MartinezDrew DoughtyMatt Roy
Minnesota WildRyan SuterJonas BrodinJared SpurgeonMatt Dumba
Montreal CanadiensVictor MeteBen ChiarotShea WeberJeff Petry
Nashville PredatorsRoman JosiMattias EkholmRyan EllisDante Fabbro
New Jersey DevilsWill ButcherSami VatanenP.K. SubbanDamon Severson
New York IslandersNick LeddyAdam PelechRyan PulockDevon Toews
New York RangersBrady SkjeiMarc StaalJacob TroubaAdam Fox
Ottawa SenatorsThomas ChabotErik BrannstromDylan DeMeloRon Hainsey
Philadelphia FlyersIvan ProvorovShayne GostisbehereTravis SanheimMatt Niskanen
Pittsburgh PenguinsBrian DumoulinMarcus PetterssonKris LetangJustin Schultz
San Jose SharksMarc-Edouard VlasicBrenden DillonBrent BurnsErik Karlsson
St. Louis BluesVince DunnJoel EdmundsonAlex PietrangeloColton Parayko
Tampa Bay LightningVictor HedmanRyan McDonaghMikhail SergachevErik Cernak
Toronto Maple LeafsMorgan RiellyJake MuzzinTyson BarrieCody Ceci
Vancouver CanucksAlex EdlerQuinn HughesTyler MyersChris Tanev
Vegas Golden KnightsBrayden McNabbJon MerrillNate SchmidtShea Theodore
Washington CapitalsMichal KempnyDmitry OrlovJohn CarlsonNick Jensen
Winnipeg JetsJosh MorrisseyDmitry KulikovDustin ByfuglienNeal Pionk

For more depth charts: Forwards


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