2023/24 Fantasy Hockey Defenseman Rankings

2023/24 Fantasy Hockey Defenseman Rankings

Summer is officially over. The leaves are turning, and the air is getting crisp. It’s almost hockey time! This means it’s fantasy hockey season! We’ve already broken down our top 100 fantasy hockey forwards for 2023/24 (and goalies right here). Now it’s time for our top 50 fantasy hockey defenseman rankings! Let’s go!

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2023/24 Fantasy Hockey Defenseman Rankings

1 Cale Makar COL


Just like when it comes to the top fantasy hockey forward, there is only one choice for the top of our fantasy hockey defenseman rankings – Colorado’s Cale Makar. He’s the S tier of fantasy hockey defensemen. There isn’t a category he won’t help you substantially in, even if he has a “down year” like he technically did last season.

2 Rasmus Dahlin BUF
3 Erik Karlsson PIT
4 Roman Josi NSH
5 Adam Fox NYR


The next tier has four guys in it who, depending on where you look, are projected to be the second defender off the board after Makar. Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin, the top overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, is the player consistently ranked the highest in this group of players, as he’s coming off of a career year and is only 23 years old. Erik Karlsson is an offensive machine, but he kills your +/- and hits categories.

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6 Dougie Hamilton NJD
7 Josh Morrissey WPG
8 Miro Heiskanen DAL
9 John Carlson WSH
10 Moritz Seider DET
11 Mikhail Sergachev TBL
12 Charlie McAvoy BOS
13 Quinn Hughes VAN
14 Evan Bouchard EDM
15 Victor Hedman TBL
16 Alex Pietrangelo VGK
17 Brandon Montour FLA


There’s not a lot of consensus among the next tier of players – some of these guys could/will go in the top 5; in other drafts, they’ll drop down into the teens. Others will go top 10 or top 30, depending on how your league drafts. Dougie Hamilton is probably your top option, as he exploded last year for 74 points.

18 Vince Dunn SEA
19 Jakob Chychrun OTT
20 Brent Burns CAR
21 Darnell Nurse EDM
22 Seth Jones CHI
23 Jacob Trouba NYR
24 Kris Letang PIT
25 Noah Dobson NYI
26 Devon Toews COL
27 Zach Werenski CBJ
28 Rasmus Andersson CGY
29 Bowen Byram COL
30 Hampus Lindholm BOS


On to our top 20 tier – any of these guys can go amongst the top 20 defensemen drafted in fantasy. Darnell Nurse is appearing in the high teens on some draft boards, so keep an eye on him. Outside of power-play points, he brought value across the board to fantasy players who had him rostered last season. And is there a better name than ‘Hampus Lindholm’?! I think not.

31 Shea Theodore VGK
32 Luke Hughes NJD
33 Justin Faulk STL
34 Thomas Chabot OTT
35 Morgan Rielly TOR
36 K’Andre Miller NYR
37 Adam Larsson SEA
38 Tyson Barrie NSH
39 Jared Spurgeon MIN
40 Mike Matheson MTL
41 Aaron Ekblad FLA
42 MacKenzie Weegar CGY
43 Gustav Forsling FLA
44 Shayne Gostisbehere DET
45 Sean Durzi ARI
46 Jeff Petry DET
47 Drew Doughty LAK
48 Filip Hronek VAN
49 Dmitry Orlov CAR
50 Mattias Ekholm EDM


The rest. No disrespect meant as these are still top 50 defensemen. I’ve seen Adam Larsson as high as 17 on some boards and as low as 54 on others, so there’s some debate over his potential this upcoming season. He did have a career year last season for the Kraken, but he also is about to turn 31, so he’s no spring chicken. Hence the debate, I guess.

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