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"Sabres/Northeast Division Buzz"
Twitter @SabreHess • 28 Years Old • Male
The Northeast Division has an impressive crop of young defensemen that are about to enter into their prime. Spearheaded by Tyler Myers, P.K. Subban, Luke Schenn, and Erik Karlsson, and they likely will be joined by Dougie Hamilton in another year or two. There has been much debate as to which one of these guys is the best rearguard, but i'm going to keep this strictly about numbers. Obviously that doesn't tell the whole story, but it will give us an indication as to who is further along the path of becoming the franchise lynchpin they are all expected to be. They will be ranked off of last years statistics in 6 categories with a total aggregate ranking as well. Subban was in his first full NHL season last year so he has a slight disadvantage, but he is also the oldest of the 4 players.


Even Strength Points

Karlsson 24 points
Myers 23 points
Schenn 22 points
Subban 20 points

Powerplay Points

Karlsson 21 points
Subban 18 points
Myers 14 points
Schenn 0 points

Plus/Minus

Myers EVEN
Schenn -7
Subban -8
Karlsson -30

Hits

Schenn 251
Subban 110
Myers 107
Karlsson 32

Average Time on Ice

Karlsson 23:30
Myers 22:27
Schenn 22:22
Subban 22:16

Blocked Shots

Schenn 168
Subban 106
Myers 98
Karlsson 74

Aggregate Ranking (position ranking in each category totaled up and ranked by lowest total sum)

Myers 2+3+1+3+2+3= 14
Schenn 3+4+2+1+3+1= 14
Karlsson 1+1+4+4+1+4= 15
Subban 4+2+3+2+4+2= 17

Trends:

While Myers and Schenn tied for the best aggregate score there is also a lot to like out of Subban and Karlsson. Karlsson has the gaudier offensive numbers at this point, but Myers had similar numbers the year before and all four of them are likely to continue trending upward in point totals as they are all 21 or 22 years of age. Schenn dominated the hits and blocked shots department, and all of his points came even strength. He is shaping up into a Ken Daneyko type defensemen with better offensive upside. I found it surprising Subban didn't lead a single category, but again it was his first full season in the NHL. Karlsson is looking like he can provide Ottawa with that ever elusive Power Play quarterback, but equally impressive were his 24 even strength points which also led this group. Nobody is going to mistake him for Derian Hatcher out there but Erik's got to improve his physical play a little bit finishing way behind the pack in Hits and Blocked Shots despite leading the group in ice time.

Were i to be starting a team from scratch and given the choice of one of these four, i would choose Luke Schenn. I'm old school and there is just no substitute for a rock solid defensive defenseman who can log big time minutes and wear down his opponents. Myers is a close second and he's probably the best all around of the group...not necessarily the greatest at anything but very good at everything. Karlsson is the X-factor and if he can improve his physical game slightly and tighten up in his own end (though a lot of that falls on his teammates as well) he could end up being the best of the group. Subban's development will be judged more on this upcoming season as it is hard to gauge him solely on one year, but you gotta love the energy he infuses into his club. The concern with Subban is that he might be more of a power play specialist and even though he racks up more hits than you'd expect he isn't as physically imposing as he could be, he just needs to pick his spots better. He reminds me a lot of Brian Campbell...and that's not a bad thing.

If you were a GM who would you choose?
Filed Under:   Schenn   Myers   Karlsson   Subban   Montreal   Buffalo  
July 27, 2011 3:36 AM ET | Delete
Mt feeling with as to why Karlsson had such numbers was after the Sens were doomed for the bottom of the East they just let him play his game. Also I want to see how each of the northeasts teams defense racks up against each other.
July 27, 2011 7:13 AM ET | Delete
I first thought that too regarding Karlsson, but in his defense he only averaged 1 more minute of ice time per game than the others. It's not like he was playing 27 minutes a night.
July 27, 2011 10:57 AM ET | Delete
you do really great work. keep it up!
July 27, 2011 2:53 PM ET | Delete
Funny, your a Sabres fan and you chose Schenn over Myers. Im a leafs fan and I love Schenns game but I would choose Myers over Schenn haha.
July 27, 2011 3:02 PM ET | Delete
Thanks Eklund, and ahurst i try to be objective! Honestly, i just love Schenn's game, i like the rough and tumblers and Myers just isn't nasty enough for me. Don't get me wrong i love Myers and i'm happy he's a Sabre. At least now we got Regehr to pair with Myers, i think that'll bring some much needed toughness to their top pairing.
July 27, 2011 3:04 PM ET | Delete
Ya it will, I really hate to admit it but the Sabres got a lot better this off seasons which is gonna make it tougher on the leafs!
July 28, 2011 12:50 AM ET | Delete
July 28, 2011 12:50 AM ET | Delete
July 28, 2011 8:05 AM ET | Delete
Another good read. Keep them coming.
July 28, 2011 9:16 AM ET | Delete
your blogs are better then some of the "writers" on this site, keep it up!!
July 28, 2011 6:57 PM ET | Delete
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July 28, 2011 9:24 PM ET | Delete
Great stuff, I really enjoyed this read!
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