NHL Power Rankings: Top Western Conference Defensemen

By Matt Barbato
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Apr 18, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter (20) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the second period in game two of the first round of the the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

7. Ryan Suter 

Puck luck struck Suter hard this season. Although he isn’t an overly offensive defenseman, his two goals last season were his fewest since his rookie season in 2005. That wasn’t because Suter wasn’t involved offensively. In fact, his offensive involvement in 2014-15 was the most of his career. The problem was Suter scored on 1.3 percent of his shots.

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Suter still put up a good possession season with a 53.99 Corsi-for percentage. He remains the top guy on Minnesota’s defensive corps as he hits 30. The Wild rely heavily upon Suter, who led the league last season with an average of 29 minutes of ice time per game.

His offensive luck should be much better in 2015-16 than it was last season, but it’s hard to tell whether Suter has many more great years left. The 2015-16 season should show just how much Suter has left in the tank and whether his 2014-15 performance was more about bad luck, or simple regression.

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