Jaccob Slavin: Slavin goes way back to my fantasy defenseman sleeper list last year and he is slowly making a name for himself in the league. Last season Slavin racked in 30 points and a solid 22 minutes on average per game. Slavin will be again a very under valued defenseman heading into this season I would be surprised to see him drafted even. But he will be on the first d-pairing with Justin Faulk and the second power play. While he may log a bad +/- he will be logging a ton of minutes and in that mix for top defenseman in Carolina. Slavin is a solid 30 plus point player with potential for a 40 point season this year. Don’t sleep on this guy!
Matt Benning: Benning had a solid year for Edmonton last year, tallying his most points in his 2 years there and a 6 point increase from his first year. The situation in Edmonton is weary as the team is not coming off a good season and their defense always seems to have issues. But with that, it means Benning will play a very crucial role, a young, healthy defenseman who logged a ton of time for them last year and was reliable. Benning will be playing on the second d-pairing with Oscar Klefbom. He will not be on the powerplay but a sure penalty kill option and someone who if he stays in the top four will log on average 19+ minutes per game. If you need a spot start or one of your defenseman goes down early in the year Benning could be a very solid possible 25 plus point defenseman.
Jonas Brodin: Brodin has been in the league for 6 years now, logging back to back 20 plus point years and playing 5 full years in a row, Brodin is bound for a break out year. A lot of hype came around this 1st round Swedish defenseman when he emerged in the league in 2012. Yet he has not panned out to be a first round worthy player. Although Minnesota has a lot of options on their backend, Brodin will for sure be seeing top four minutes again next season and as of now he is slotted next to Matt Dumba. An easy 18+ minutes will come from Brodin, as the Wild’s blue line continues to be one of the best in the league, Brodin will be asked year in and year out to step into new situations. He may not be the first guy on your list but he can be a solid fix on the backend if you need one.
Jokiam Ryan: A lot of people probably do not have this guy on their list at all. Ryan is in his second year with the Sharks and only played 62 games last year tallying 12 points. But as of now he is logged next to Brent Burns on the first line. He may not log power play time but Ryan will be seeing a hefty work load. He won’t be a 50 point defenseman, as Burns will do the scoring on the back end for San Jose but with the position he is in and the time he is seeing he has potential to be a 25 point defenseman. Just pick the right spots for Ryan.
Colin Miller: He has to be on your radar, Miller had a breakout season with Vegas last season and is coming off a 41 point season, meanwhile his last two years with Boston he combined for a total of 29 points. Miller is a top four defenseman for Vegas and will be playing power play two minutes. Miller we all knew had the talent in Boston but the blue line was crowded and he never got his shot really. Now going over to Vegas and their first season being that successful really elevated Miller’s game. He may not come out and have a 50 point season next year but it is fair to say Miller will tally upwards of 35 points next season. Somebody to definitely keep on your radar!