In a highly skilled, and fast paced period of the NHL, Defenseman like Erik Karlsson, and Drew Doughty have showcased their offensive ability despite playing a position where the goal is to help the goalie keep the puck out the net.
Let’s take a look at the Top Five Offensive Defenseman of All-Time; several who had crucial roles in establishing this kind of player.
5. Al MacInnis:
Al MacInnis was one of the most talented Defenseman to ever play the game.
In 1,416 games played, MacInnis scored 340 goals, and recorded 934 assists for the third most points as a Defenseman with 1,274.
Through his career MacInnis had four 80+ point seasons, two 90+ point seasons, and even a season where he reached 103 points with 28 goals, and 75 assists in 1991 with Calgary.
MacInnis won the Norris Trophy in 1999 for league’s best Defenseman, along with the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe for Playoffs MVP in 1989 with the Flames.
The 15th overall pick in the 1981 draft also boasted a +371 plus-minus rating.
4. Ray Bourque:
Playing in 1,612 games, Ray Bourque holds records for most goals, assists, and points by a Defenseman, with 410, 1,169, and 1,579 respectively.
Bourque also has the third best plus-minus rating with a +527 rating.
Drafted 8th overall in 1979 by Boston, Bourque won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year.
He would also have nine 80+ point seasons, and four 90+ point seasons, and also has the most game winning goals by a Defenseman with 60.
The Norris Trophy would be awarded to Ray Bourque five times (1987, 1988, 1990, 1991, and 1994), along with the King Clancy Memorial Award in 1992.
However, Bourque would not win a Stanley Cup until he arrived in Colorado in 2001.
Although Bourque appears to be the record holder for scoring as a Defenseman, holding him back is the fact that he played more games than any other player on this list by atleast 200.
3. Denis Potvin:
Denis Potvin played in 1,060 games, recording 310 goals, and 742 assists for 1,052 points.
The Defenseman also finished his career with the fifth best plus-minus among Defenseman with a rating of +456.
Winning the Calder for Rookie of the Year in 1974, Potvin would go on to win the Norris Trophy in 1976, 1978, and 1979.
Potvin would also serve a key role in the Islanders four Stanley Cups in a row from 1980-83.
Over the course of his career, Potvin had nine 20+ goal seasons, and three 30+ goal seasons, and would score 44 game winning goals (third most all-time by a Defenseman).
2. Paul Coffey:
Drafted sixth overall in 1980 by the Oilers.
Playing in 1,409 games, Coffey recorded the second most goals, assists, and points as a Defenseman with 396, 1,135, and 1,531 respectively.
Coffey would win four Stanley Cups in his career three with Edmonton in 1984, 1985, and 1987, and one with Pittsburgh in 1991.
Awarded the Norris in 1985, 1986, and 1995, Coffey had four 30+ goal seasons, and two 40+ goal seasons.
Having the fifth most game winning goals as a Defenseman with 43, Coffey finished his career with a plus-minus rating of +298.
1. Bobby Orr:
Despite only playing in 657 games due to numerous knee injuries, Orr currently has the second best plus-minus rating as a Defenseman with a rating of +582.
That is actually ridiculous when you think about it.
In those games Orr scored 270 goals, and recorded 645 assists for 915 points.
Orr would also win the Art Ross Trophy for the league’s point leader in 1970, and 1975.
As a Rookie Bobby Orr was awarded the Calder Trophy in 1967.
From 1968 to 1975, the Norris Trophy belonged to Bobby Orr as he won the award eight times consecutively.
Winning the Stanley Cup for the Boston Bruins in 1970, and 1972, Orr was also awarded the Conn Smythe in both 1970, and 1972 as playoffs MVP.
Even more impressive, Bobby Orr was chosen as the league’s MVP from 1970-1972, winning the Hart Memorial Trophy three years in a row.
Scoring 26 game winning goals, Orr recorded five 30+ goal seasons, and one 40+ goal seasons.
Bobby Orr revolutionized the position of the Defenseman and created the possibility for a Defenseman to record points, and be apart of the scoring along with defending.
Bobby Orr Goal: www.NESN.com
Bobby Orr Cup: www.hhof.com
Bobby Orr Rookie: www.si.com
Paul Coffey Oilers: www.edmontonjournal.com
Paul Coffey Oilers Cup: www.coppernblue.com
Paul Coffey Pens Cup: www.hhof.com
Denis Potvin Skating: www.hhof.com
Denis Potvin Cup: www.newsday.com
Denis Potvin Goal: www.hhof.com
Ray Bourque Goal: www.sportslegend.com
Ray Bourque Rookie: www.si.com
Ray Bourque Cup: www.hhof.com
Al MacInnis: www.CBC.ca
Al MacInnis Cup: www.forum.calgarypuck.com
MacInnis Awards: www.NHL.com
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