NHL Defensemen and the NHL Draft

Previous 3 NHL Drafts, # of Defense selected: 73

USHL: 18

0 first round selections

NCAA: 10 

3 first round selections

OHL: 45

4 first round selections


DRAFTED players Measuring 6'1 and taller: 48 (representing 66% percent of drafted defensemen)

DRAFTED players Measuring 6'0 and under: 25 (34% of drafted defensemen)


USHL: 50% of drafted defensemen measured 6'1 and taller , 50 % measured 6'0 and under

NCAA 70% of the drafted defensemen measured 6'1 and taller , 30% measured 6'0 and under

OHL: 73% of the drafted defensemen measured 6'1 and taller, 26% measured 6'0 and under

***As a D man in your NHL draft year, it is very important to know the trends of how NHL teams draft. As you can see from the numbers. 


2017-2018 Current Point leading defensemen in the NHL: 

Top 5  defensemen 6'1 and taller: Klingberg (6'2) 5th Rd DAL - from SHL , Burns (6'5) 1st Rd MIN - from OHL, Carlson (6'3) 1st Rd WSH - from USHL, Doughty (6'1) 1st Rd LAK - from OHL, Hedman (6'6) 1st Rd TBL - from SHL

2 Swedish Hockey League, 2 OHL, 1 USHL. All 1st Round Selections

Top 5 NHL defensemen measuring exactly 6': Subban (6'0) 2nd Rd MTL - from OHL, Karlsson (6'0) 1st Rd OTT - from Sweden U20 Super Elite, Leddy (6'0) 1st Rd PIT - from MN HS, Letang (6'0) 1st Rd PIT - from QMJHL, Dumba (6'0) 1st Rd MIN - from WHL

1 Sweden U20 Super Elite, 1 OHL , 1 QMJHL, 1 WHL, 1 MN High School.

Top 5 NHL defensemen measuring 5'11 and shorter: Gostisbehere (5'11) *3rd Rd to PHI from Union College, Krug (5'9) undrafted from USHL, Barrie (5'10) 3rd Round to COL from WHL, Butcher (5'10) 5th Round to COL from USNTDP, Goligoski (5'11) 2nd Rd to PIT from MN high school. 

1 NCAA, 1 WHL, 1 USNTDP, 1 MN High School, 1 undrafted from USHL. 


You are who they thought you were ....

Whether you spend 1 practice , 1 game , or 1 season with a team the hockey world will write it's book on you. How you treat people and how you behave regardless of your talent, or the role you have, will create your mark.  You will move on for one reason or another and leave a lasting impression. Eventually someone will ask "how was ____________ when he was with you guys?" 

What will they say about you? Great guy .... ? Selfish ... ? The best ... ? Never got to know him ... ? Arrogant ? Respectful ?  

NHL Vets lose their luster, NHL rookies under perform, NHL Coaches will eventually lose games, NHL draft picks don't pan out., GM's sign players that don't end up working out. The impression you leave with a team and in the hockey world has less to do with your production on the ice and more how you treat people. 




Shaping Attitude and Culture

Attitude and culture are both very important in determining success in a business and also in an athlete. 



Your coaches, teammates and trainers should be able to absorb what you consider most important, as long as you  convey your priorities and objectives in an effective way. Habits create who you are. 

Highlight Great Behavior

The more you celebrate team or your teammates victories the more you reinforce your own desired values. Culture is built through small celebrated victories. 

Tough Decisions

Choices you make in a tough or emotional moment will have an impact. Making one tough decision that is alignment with your core values and priorities will have more impact than a dozen easy decisions. 

Stay the Course

Building culture is a long process of applying gentle pressure. 

Athletic Conformity vs Creative Activity

This is the time of year many hockey players review the first half of the season. Coaches meet with players before they take the holiday break, some players have been selected for all star games, some players are stuck in roles and are desiring more responsibility or opportunity. This raises the question of where are you on the spectrum of Athletic Conformity vs Creative Activity.  Finding the extra ingredient to your game can be very difficult mid season when you're conforming to coaches expectations, training staff exceptions and last but not least your teammates expectations of you.  

Consider the following tips foster creativity. There is always room to grow.

1. What time do you arrive to the arena? What time are you leaving the arena? When you get to the arena be business like and methodical, get your work done, do a little extra, prepare for tomorrow and get out of there. 

2. How healthy are you? The physicality ramps up in the 2nd half of the season, take the extra time to look after your body not only while you're at the arena but when you get home. Something little now can turn into something bigger during playoffs. 

3. What extra elements you can provide your team off the ice? Taking time to focus on leadership skills is something everyone can do regardless of athletic ability. 

4. Are you a student of the game? Learn to look at the game and opponents from a different perspective. Finding what works for others can give you very valuable insight even If they have a different style. 

5. Are you consistent? Have a plan and give your chance to succeed with it. Players and coaches take notice of players who are grasping for anything in tough times and become complacent in good times. Be confident in your plan and show your commitment to your process. 



As a rookie its your job to

1. ) Bring Energy, everyday

2.) Be positive 

- points 1 and 2 are something you can control when, as a rookie, you can't control much. You can chose your attitude everyday and show up to the arena ready to work with a competitive and  positive attitude. Show you're not bigger than the team or league. 

3.) Earn the trust of your coaches

- As a coach, you want to play the players you trust. Likely, those are the vets until a rookie proves they can take those minutes away from a vet. It takes time. 

4.) Earn the trust of vets

- Vets are on the team for a reason, because they earned the trust of their coach and figured out a way to survive in the league, show respect but be confident and fight for your share of playing time. 


What you feel when you don't know what you're doing. 

The first 20 games in junior hockey / professional hockey is a very testing time both mentally and physically. Likely you spent the summer training hard, working on your skills, tightening up your nutrition plan. When you get to training camp and into your first regular season games, your ice time may not correlate between the work you put in over the course of the summer. I cannot stress enough that this is a mental toughness test, during this time. If you have success - can you sustain it ? If you're not having success  - how do you get on track ? 

As an athlete it is important you trust your process on a daily basis. I had the great fortune of coaching with the Detroit Red Wings and seeing how Nick Lidstrom went about his business on a daily basis. He was consistent off the ice just as he was on the ice. No rush, no panic, no hurry, no PRESSURE. Calm and composed. This is my bench mark for how I represent players, I strongly encourage good habits year around that will carry you into your season and help your adjustment to "highs" and "lows". 

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

As we take steps of faith, we depend on God and how much he can do for us. If we live our lives too safely we will never know the thrill of seeing God's work. When God gave us His Spirit, He empowered us to live beyond our natural ability and strength. That is why it is so wrong to measure our energy level against the challenges ahead of us. The issue is not our own personal strength, but God's, which is limitless.