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Anaheim To Winnipeg: The Worst Defenseman On Every NHL Roster This Season

As hockey fans, we know how valuable and hard working defensemen are to their teams. They play very important roles by blocking shots, delivering hard hits against the boards, taking away the puck from the opposing team, and producing points just to name a few of their important duties. They also help to protect their valuable goaltenders by keeping players out of the crease, along with throwing their bodies in front of pucks to try to stop as many shots as they can from getting to their net minder.

With just over two months into the 2016-17 NHL season, and around 30 games played so far, it’s time to evaluate how much (or how little in this case) each team’s defensemen are providing to their respective teams. Unfortunately, some players are having a slow start to their season and have yet to find their proper place with their team. Each of the thirty NHL teams have combinations of great defensemen, along with some who are currently struggling.

Let’s take a look at those defensemen from each of the thirty teams who are currently struggling and who have not had the best start to the new season.

30 Anaheim Ducks – Kevin Bieksa

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 1 point in 30 games; -3 rating; 28 penalty minutes

Although Kevin Bieksa is ranked third on his team in hits (70) and second among their defensemen in shots on goal (43), he is definitely struggling on the scoreboard. In 30 games played so far this season, he only has one point, which was a power play goal. He also has the second lowest plus/minus rating among Anaheim’s defensemen with a -3 rating.

This is his second season with the Ducks. Last season he earned 15 points (4 goals, 11 assists), 99 penalty minutes, and a -7 rating in 71 games played. He also recorded 152 hits and 108 blocked shots.

29 Arizona Coyotes – Connor Murphy

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 4 points in 26 games; -10 rating; 19 penalty minutes

Murphy is ranked second among his team’s defensemen with 56 hits, but is less than impressive in all other areas. He has the second worst plus/minus rating on the entire team with a -10 rating. He is the defenseman with the most shifts per game (29.1 shifts/game) and has still only tallied four assists in 25 games played so far this season.

This is his fourth season with the Coyotes. Last season he tallied 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists), 48 penalty minutes, and a +5 rating in 78 games played.

28 Boston Bruins – Adam McQuaid

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 1 point in 26 games; +4 rating; 15 penalty minutes

In 26 games played so far this season, and averaging just under 18 minutes of on-ice time per game (25.2 shifts per game), Adam McQuaid has only produced a single assist and has a measly 30 shots on goal. He is, however, ranked third on the team and first among their defensemen with 62 hits, with an average close to 3 hits per game.

This is his eighth season with the Bruins. Last season he recorded 9 points (1 goal, 8 assists), 89 penalty minutes, and a +6 rating in 64 games played. He also had 142 hits and 121 blocked shots.

27 Buffalo Sabres – Josh Gorges

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 1 point in 25 games; -2 rating; 23 penalty minutes

Although Josh Gorges is ranked fourth among his team’s defensemen with 27.3 shifts/per game (average of 19:19 on-ice time per game), he has only tallied one assist in 25 games played so far this season. He is also the most penalized player on the team with 23 penalty minutes and has a -3 plus/minus rating. He does, however, have the second most hits among their defensemen with 58.

This is his third season with the Sabres. Last season he tallied 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists), 72 penalty minutes, and a -7 rating in 77 games. He also had 143 hits and 167 blocked shots.

26 Calgary Flames – T.J. Brodie

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 9 points in 32 games; -18 rating; 10 penalty minutes

T.J. Brodie is ranked fourth among Calgary defensemen with 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 32 games played so far this season. However, he has the worst plus/minus rating in the entire NHL with a -18 rating. He has also only delivered 14 hits in total this season, which is the lowest amount among his teammates who have played at least 20 games.

This is his seventh season with the Flames. Last season he racked up 45 points (6 goals, 39 assists), along with 18 penalty minutes and a +4 rating in 70 games. He also had 15 hits and 104 blocked shots.

25 Carolina Hurricanes – Ron Hainsey

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 8 points in 29 games; -8 rating; 15 penalty minutes

Although Ron Hainsey’s numbers aren’t overly discouraging (2 goal, 6 assists in 29 games played), he has the second worst plus/minus rating on the team with a -8 rating. He also has the second highest amount of giveaways on among his fellow defensemen with 20, and the lowest number of takeaways with only 6 (based on players who have played at least 10 games this season).

This is his fourth season with the Hurricanes. Last season he had 19 points (5 goals, 14 assists), 37 penalty minutes, and a -13 rating in 81 games. He also had 85 hits and 126 blocked shots.

24 Chicago Blackhawks – Michal Kempny

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 2 points in 22 games; 0 rating; 14 penalty minutes

In 22 games played so far this season, Kempny has only recorded two assists. He is the most penalized defenseman on the team with 14 penalty minutes. He also has 27 shots on goal, which is the second lowest amount of shots based on Chicago’s defensemen who have played at least twenty games. On a positive note, he is tied for second place among his entire team with 44 hits.

This is his first season in the NHL after spending last season with Avangard Omsk in the KHL. He's got a long way to go to compete for playing time alongside Blackhawk all-stars Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith.

23 Colorado Avalanche – Nikita Zadorov

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 5 points in 27 games; -9 rating; 35 penalty minutes

In 27 games played so far this season, Zadorov has just five assists. He only has 18 shots on goal, which is the lowest on the team based on players who have played at least 20 games. He also has the fourth worst plus/minus rating on the team with a -9 rating and is the third most penalized player among his Avalanche teammates with 35 penalty minutes. He is, however, ranked second on the team with 65 hits (which surpasses his total of 53 hits last season).

This is his second season with Colorado. Last season he had just 2 assists, 12 penalty minutes, and a -5 rating in 22 games.

22 Columbus Blue Jackets – Ryan Murray

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 3 points in 22 games; +5 rating; 12 penalty minutes

Ryan Murray has just three assists in 22 games played so far this season. He only has 16 shots on goal this season and that’s with averaging over 18 and a half minutes of on-ice time per game. He has only delivered six hits so far this season and is ranked fourth among his team’s defensemen with 35 blocked shots.

This is his fourth season with the Blue Jackets. Last season he had 25 points (4 goals, 21 assists), 40 penalty minutes, and a -10 rating in 82 games. He also had 51 hits and 171 blocked shots.

21 Dallas Stars – Esa Lindell

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 4 points in 22 games; -2 rating; 6 penalty minutes

In 22 games played so far this season, Lindell has 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists), along with a -2 plus/minus rating. He averages over 19 minutes per game with just 23 shots on goal. He’s ranked third among his team’s defensemen with 30 hits, but has the lowest amount of blocked shots (36) based on defensemen who have played at least 19 games.

This is his second season with the Stars. Last season he played just four games and had 0 points, 0 penalty minutes, and a -3 rating. He also had 4 hits and 9 blocked shots.

20 Detroit Red Wings – Brendan Smith

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 4 points in 20 games; -3 rating; 15 penalty minutes

Smith has 2 goals and 2 assists in 20 games played so far this season. With a -3 rating, he has the third worst plus/minus rating among Detroit’s defensemen. He’s ranked third among their defensemen with 25 hits, but is ranked near the bottom of the list with only 19 blocked shots. He also has an unimpressive 18 giveaways with zero takeaways.

This is his sixth season with the Red Wings. Last season he recorded 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists), 62 penalty minutes, and a +1 rating in 63 games. He also had 94 hits and 42 blocked shots.

19 Edmonton Oilers – Matthew Benning

Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 4 points in 23 games; +3 rating; 6 penalty minutes

At first glance, Matthew Benning’s numbers aren’t too bad with four assists and a +5 plus/minus rating in 23 games played so far this season. He is also ranked fourth among his team’s defensemen with 52 hits. However, with only 23 blocked shots, he’s ranked last among their defensemen who have played at least 20 games. He also has only 17 giveaways, but he has just one takeaway - not good numbers for someone trying to shut down the opposing offensive attack.

This is his first season in the NHL after spending the last three years playing for Northeastern University in Boston.

18 Florida Panthers – Aaron Ekblad

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 9 points in 30 games; -13 rating; 26 penalty minutes

Aaron Ekblad is leading his team’s defensemen with 7 goals and 57 hits in 30 games played this season. He is also leading the entire team with 113 shots on goal. However, he has struggled, and is underperforming considerably. Furthermore, he’s less than impressive in other very important areas. He is the most penalized player on the team with 26 penalty minutes. He also has the worst plus/minus rating on his team with a -13 rating. And for being the most played defenseman on the team by averaging over 23 minutes of on-ice time per game, he only has 25 blocked shots, which is the lowest number among defensemen who have played at least 25 games.

This is his third season with the Panthers. Last season he racked up 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 78 games, along with a +18 rating and 41 penalty minutes. He also had 87 hits and 59 blocked shots.

17 Los Angeles Kings – Kevin Gravel

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 2 point in 18 games; +4 rating; 4 penalty minutes

Although Kevin Gravel has only played 18 games so far this season and averages just over 14 minutes of on-ice time per game, his numbers are discouraging with only two assists and 16 shots on goal - Drew Doughty, he is not. He also ranked very low among Kings defensemen with just 21 hits. On the positive side, he does have the third highest plus/minus rating on the team with a +4.

This is his second season with the Kings. He only appeared in five NHL games last season and didn’t earn any points.

16 Minnesota Wild – Christian Folin

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 2 points in 20 games; +9 rating; 16 penalty minutes

In 20 games played so far this season, Folin has just 2 assists. He also has only 19 shots on goal for averaging just under 17 minutes of on-ice time per game. He is the second highest penalized defenseman on the team with 16 penalty minutes. He is ranked fourth among Minnesota’s defenseman with 27 blocked shots, but is doing decent in the hitting department with 32.

This is his fourth season with the Wild. Last season he tallied four assists, 11 penalty minutes, and a -1 rating in 26 games. He also had 38 hits and 30 blocked shots.

15 Montreal Canadiens – Greg Pateryn

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 5 points in 19 games; +1 rating; 2 penalty minutes

In 19 games played so far this season, Pateryn has 5 points (1 goal, 4 assists) and a +1 plus/minus rating. With just 19 shots on goal, he has the lowest number of shots among Montreal’s defensemen who have played at least 19 games. He is ranked fourth among his team’s defensemen in hits (30) and blocked shots (37).

This is his fourth season with the Canadiens. Last season he had 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists), 49 penalty minutes, and a -8 rating in 38 games. He also had 100 hits and 52 blocked shots.

14 Nashville Predators – Yannick Weber

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 3 points in 25 games; +7 rating; 19 penalty minutes

Weber has just 3 assists in 25 games played so far this season. Among all Nashville defensemen who have played at least 19 games this season, Weber is ranked last with 23 shots on goal and 21 blocked shots. On a positive note, he is ranked second on the entire team with a +7 plus/minus rating.

This is his first season with the Predators. He spent last season with the Vancouver Canucks and tallied 7 assists, 24 penalty minutes, and a -17 rating in 45 games. He also had 49 hits and 37 blocked shots.

13 New Jersey Devils – Ben Lovejoy

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 3 points in 27 games; -6 rating; 10 penalty minutes

In 27 games played so far this season, Lovejoy has just one goal and two assists, along with a -6 rating (second worst plus/minus rating among team defensemen). He is also has the lowest amount of shots on goal (30) among their defensemen who have played at least 23 games.

This is his first season with the Devils. He spent last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and produced 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists), 30 penalty minutes, and a +9 rating in 66 games. He also had 154 hits and 104 blocked shots.

12 New York Islanders – Travis Hamonic

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 7 points in 23 games; -14 rating; 42 penalty minutes

Hamonic has 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 23 games played this season. He is the most penalized player on the team with 42 penalty minutes (16 minutes more than the next highest amount) and has the worst plus/minus rating among his teammates with a -14. His 31 shots on goal ranks him last among all Islanders defensemen who have played at least 23 games.

This is his seventh season with the Islanders. Last season he produced 21 points (5 goals, 16 assists), 35 penalty minutes, and a -5 rating in 72 games. He also had 148 hits and 128 blocked shots.

11 New York Rangers – Kevin Klein

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 7 points in 25 games; +2 rating; 0 penalty minutes

With 7 assists and no penalty minutes in 25 games this season, Klein’s numbers are decent, but that’s where it ends. He’s ranked low among his teammates in other important categories, such as shots on goal (21) and plus/minus rating (+2). He is also one of only two Rangers players who have played over 25 games and who have not yet scored any goals.

This is his fourth season with the Rangers. Last season he tallied 26 points (9 goals, 17 assists), 19 penalty minutes, and a +16 rating in 69 games. He also had 117 hits and 155 blocked shots.

10 Ottawa Senators – Cody Ceci

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 2 points in 27 games; -11 rating; 6 penalty minutes

In 27 games played this season, Ceci has just 2 assists. He is ranked second among his team’s defensemen in hits (53) and blocked shots (64). His plus/minus rating, however, is the lowest on his team with a -11 (five worst than the second worst rating on the team which is -6), and is also one of the worst ratings among all NHL defensemen.

This is his fourth season with the Senators. Last season he earned 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists), 18 penalty minutes, and a +9 rating in 75 games. He also had 70 hits and 130 blocked shots.

9 Philadelphia Flyers – Andrew MacDonald

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 9 points in 21 games; 0 rating; 6 penalty minutes

In 21 games played so far this season, MacDonald has recorded 1 goal and 8 assists, along with an even plus/minus rating. Despite averaging over 19 minutes of on-ice time per game, his 13 shots on goal are less than impressive, ranking him last among his teammates who have played at least 13 games. He has also only delivered 14 hits which ranks him one of the lowest on the team.

This is his fourth season with the Flyers. Last season he recorded 8 points (1 goal, 7 assists), 6 penalty minutes, and a +10 rating in 28 games. He also had 14 hits and 72 blocked shots.

8 Pittsburgh Penguins – Olli Maatta

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 1 point in 27 games; +10 rating; 6 penalty minutes

Despite having an impressive +10 plus/minus rating, Maatta is surely struggling on the scoreboard with just 1 assist in 27 games. Averaging over 18 minutes of on-ice time per game, he has just 30 shots on goal, which ties him for the lowest amount of shots by his team’s defensemen who have played at least 22 games.

This is his fourth season with the Penguins. Last season he racked up 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists), 22 penalty minutes, and a +27 rating in 67 games. He also had 81 hits and 87 blocked shots.

7 San Jose Sharks – Brenden Dillon

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 1 point in 26 games; -4 rating; 20 penalty minutes

In 26 games so far this season, Dillon has just one assist. He also has a -4 plus/minus rating which ranks him last among Sharks defensemen. He is the second most penalized defenseman on the team with 20 penalty minutes. Although he’s tied for first place on the team with 62 hits, he’s ranked last among their defensemen (who have played at least 24 games) with just 20 blocked shots.

This is his third season with the Sharks. Last season he tallied 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists), 61 penalty minutes, and a +8 rating in 76 games. He also had 154 hits and 89 blocked shots.

6 St. Louis Blues – Carl Gunnarsson

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 2 points in 23 games; -3 rating; 4 penalty minutes

Gunnarrson has tallied 2 assists and a -3 plus/minus rating in 23 games played so far this season. He’s ranked at the bottom of the team with just 12 shots on goal and has only delivered 18 hits. He’s also only averaging just 14 minutes of on-ice time per game.

This is his third season with the Blues. Last season he totalled 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists), 31 penalty minutes, and a +7 rating in 72 games played. He also delivered 67 hits and had 119 blocked shots.

5 Tampa Bay Lightning – Jason Garrison

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 3 points in 26 games; -7 rating; 6 penalty minutes

In 26 games played this season, Garrison has just 3 points (1 goal, 2 assists) and a -7 plus/minus rating. For averaging over 18 minutes of on-ice team per game, he has only 35 shots on goal. He is also lacking in his number of hits (29), while his 39 blocked shots aren’t too bad.

This is his third season with the Lightning. Last season he recorded 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists), 18 penalty minutes, and a -4 rating in 72 games. He also had 88 hits and 105 blocked shots.

4 Toronto Maple Leafs – Connor Carrick

Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 3 points in 22 games; +2 rating; 24 penalty minutes

In 22 games played so far this season, Carrick has just one goal and two assists. With 24 penalty minutes, he’s the most penalized defenseman on the team. Averaging over 17 minutes of on-ice time per game, he’s less than impressive with 32 shots on goal, 21 hits, and 27 blocked shots.

This is his second season with the Maple Leafs. Last season he totalled 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists), 15 penalty minutes, and a -5 rating in 19 games between both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals. He also had 38 hits and 19 blocked shots between both teams.

3 Vancouver Canucks – Erik Gudbranson

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 5 points in 27 games; -13 rating; 14 penalty minutes

Gudbranson has 1 goal and 4 assists in 27 games played this season. He is also averaging over 20 minutes of on-ice time per game. He has the second worst plus/minus rating on the team and one of the worst in the entire NHL with a -13 rating. Although he leads the team with 61 hits (10 more than the next highest amount), he is struggling a bit with 35 blocked shots.

This is his first season with the Canucks. He spent last season with the Florida Panthers and earned 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists), 49 penalty minutes, and a +3 rating in 64 games played. He also had 150 hits and 73 blocked shots.

2 Washington Capitals – Nate Schmidt

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 6 points in 22 games; +1 rating; 6 penalty minutes

Schmidt has 6 assists and a +1 plus/minus rating in 22 games played so far this season. Among all Capitals defensemen who have played in at least 22 games, Schmidt is ranked last with only 25 shots on goal, 19 hits, and 11 blocked shots. He is also only averaging slightly over 15 minutes of on-ice time per game.

This is his fourth season with the Capitals. Last season he recorded 16 points (2 goals, 14 assists), 16 penalty minutes, and a +12 rating in 72 games played. He also delivered 69 hits and had 111 blocked shots.

1 Winnipeg Jets – Paul Postma

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Current season totals: 5 points in 24 games; +1 rating; 2 penalty minutes

In 24 games played so far this season, Postma has five assists. With only 19 shots on goal, he is ranked last among his fellow defenseman who have played at least 15 games. He is ranked low on the team with only 16 blocked shots and just 14 hits. He is also only averaging just over 12 minutes of on-ice time per game.

This is his sixth season with the Jets. Last season he produced 2 points (both goals), 4 penalty minutes, and a -3 rating in 26 games played. He also delivered just 13 hits and had only 14 blocked shots during the entire season.

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Anaheim To Winnipeg: The Worst Defenseman On Every NHL Roster This Season