The RFA defensemen are the cream of this years free agent crop. There are at least three number one or potential number one defensemen in this crop. and another half dozen who can play in the two or three spot.
Alex Pietrangelo, the best player due a contract this year. He is the three zone soldier who is the bulwark the St Louis Blues defense is built on. Pietrangelo produces solidly in the regular and post season and plays big minutes in all situations.
Cody Franson, way back when he was traded from Nashville to Toronto (two years ago) I said he was the best piece of talent in the deal. This year in the Maple Leafs return to the playoffs he put up 6 points in seven games against the Boston Bruins, while playing almost 23 minutes a night.
Jared Cowen selected nineth in the 2009 draft, this towering blueliner spent most of the past season on the injured reserve returning in time to play all ten of the Senators games, and 18:33 of TOI/G. While he’s played fewere gaes than either Franson or Pietrangelo, it is really tough to look at what he has done, and the situations he’s been used in and not contemplate adding him to the team.
Zach Bogosion if he had spent his career anywhere other than the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, he’d probably be a household name by now. If you nee a guy who can jump into your middle pairing and who still has the potential to move up from there in the future this is the guy.
Ryan McDonagh the Rangers defense is built around guys who can lay the body into an opponent, block shots, and skate long and hard. Huge minutes have come McDonagh’s way in the regular season, and the second season.
Karl Alzner the Washington Capitals rely heavily upon Alzner, two years ago through fourteen playoff games he led the team in time on ice, this year in seven games he played over three minutes a night of shorthanded time on ice.
Jake Muzzin in perhaps the deepest NHL quality talent pool Muzzin has fought his way into a strong position as part of its top six. Muzzin is a it more defensive minded thatn most of the men on this list but he’s also demonstrated a capacity to play mistake free hockey against quality opponents, he was second on the Kings this season with an on ice save percentage of .934.