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Scott Pianowski

Shuffle Up and Deal: Dustin Byfuglien dominates on the blue line

Scott Pianowski
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Say you were walking into a fresh new draft tonight, what would your cheat sheet look like? The listing below is not necessarily a ranking of who's done what so far, though the banked stats do count as an audition. Instead, it's a listing of current value as I see it. Use it for trades, pickups, depth-chart analysis, or as the starter for friendly, spirited debate. I welcome your respectful disagreement in the comments, but bring your best argument as well. Further the conversation, gamer.

Today, we look at the men on the blue line.

1. Dustin Byfuglien(notes)
2. Kris Letang(notes)
3. Drew Doughty(notes)
4. Nicklas Lidstrom(notes)
5. Dan Boyle(notes)
6. Tobias Enstrom(notes)
7. Duncan Keith(notes)
8. John-Michael Liles(notes)
9. Mike Green(notes)
10. Shea Weber(notes)
11. Lubomir Visnovsky(notes)
12. Ryan Whitney(notes)
13. Erik Karlsson(notes)
14. Stephane Robidas(notes)
15. Brian Rafalski(notes)
16. Jack Johnson(notes)
17. Zdeno Chara(notes)
18. Keith Yandle(notes)
19. Christian Ehrhoff(notes)
20. Alex Goligoski(notes)

Byfuglien leads the position in goals, points and shots, and he's not far off in the assist column, either. He cannot be debated as the just No. 1 blueliner right now; this is a dominant season. … Green is the hardest player to rank in this exercise. He has 35 points on the power play last year; he has just seven this season. … Lidstrom's plus-minus isn't where we'd expect it to be, but he's had a goal spike along with those pretty 16 assists on the power play. … Karlsson is never going to be a wizard in his own end, but he's got 11 points in 12 December games (with six of them coming on the PP). … Doughty is on a 1-9-10 binge over the last two weeks and he's also built the rating up to plus-16. He looks fine to me.

21. Bryan McCabe(notes)
22. Tomas Kaberle(notes)
23. Kimmo Timonen(notes)
24. Alexander Edler(notes)
25. Joni Pitkanen(notes)
26. Brent Burns(notes)
27. James Wisniewski(notes)
28. John Carlson(notes)
29. Cam Fowler(notes)
30. Niklas Kronwall(notes)
31. Roman Hamrlik(notes)
32. Jordan Leopold(notes)
33. Marek Zidlicky(notes)
34. Brian Campbell(notes)
35. Mark Giordano(notes)
36. Dion Phaneuf(notes)
37. Dan Girardi(notes)
38. Sergei Gonchar(notes)
49. Brent Seabrook(notes)
40. Kevin Shattenkirk(notes)

Edler is just one of many talented Vancouver defensemen; they might be the deepest team in the league with respect to offensive blueliners. … Fowler has started to be more assertive with the puck of late and you can tell he's going to be a star very soon. … Anyone want to stump for a Gonchar revival in the second half? He looks shot to me. … It's a shame Carlson sees such little power play time, but eventually that's likely to change. … Wisniewski is handy with the puck, and the ugly plus-minus should fix itself somewhat in Montreal.

41. Tyler Myers(notes)
42. Kurtis Foster(notes)
43. Matt Carle(notes)
44. Alex Pietrangelo(notes)
45. Chris Pronger(notes)
46. Ryan Suter(notes)
47. Ed Jovanovski(notes)
48. Carlo Colaiacovo(notes)
49. Brett Clark(notes)
50. Erik Johnson(notes)
51. Jay Bouwmeester(notes)
52. Dennis Wideman(notes)
53. Paul Martin(notes)
54. Tom Gilbert(notes)
55. Marc Staal(notes)
56. Johnny Oduya(notes)
57. Joe Corvo(notes)
58. Victor Hedman(notes)
59. Andrej Meszaros(notes)
60. Dennis Seidenberg(notes)

Carle has stepped up his scoring in December (1-6-7), though he doesn't have a power-play point all season. … Waiting for Godot, Waiting for Guffman, and Waiting for Erik Johnson. … There's nothing special about Oduya's game, but he gets some leftover power-play time in Atlanta. … Meszaros is basically this year's version of Carle, scoring a little bit and carrying a zesty plus-20 rating.

61. Cody Franson(notes)
62. Toni Lydman(notes)
63. Michael Del Zotto(notes)
64. Adrian Aucoin(notes)
65. Matt Carkner(notes)
66. Jason Demers(notes)
67. Kevin Bieksa(notes)
68. Brad Stuart(notes)
69. Michal Rozsival(notes)
70. Anton Babchuk(notes)
71. P.K. Subban(notes)
72. Zach Bogosian(notes)
73. Steve Montador(notes)
74. Pavel Kubina(notes)
75. Anton Stralman(notes)

I've had my say, now it's your turn. Which ranks would you alter, and more importantly, why? Bring something to the discussion, amigos.

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 29 9:00 am
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