Alex Edler has 28 points in 38 games and currently sits 4th overall amongst defensemen in points. I think it's now clear that he's evolved into our number one defenseman and certainly the best offensive defenseman on this team. While there's still some inconsistencies in his defensive game we've watched him evolve from an unknown third round pick into arguably a top ten defenseman in the game. And the man is only 25 years old. We've watched the slap shot and physical game evolve. We've seen Edler produce in the playoffs. In my mind getting Weber or any other elite defenseman is too lofty a goal. Especially since we already have one on the backend. I think the main priority of this team next season should be to lock Edler down long term (6 mil for 8 years) and concentrate on building the blue line around him.
I'd also like to mention how crazy the progression of most of the Canucks' key players have been. Most of them have come out of nowhere, Edler being a prime example. For as much flack as the scouting staff gets, I'd argue the Canucks have one of the better player development systems out there. And AV doesn't get enough credit for molding young players.
I wouldn't put Karlsson anywhere near Edler. His defence is very subpar. Since Markov is never healthy I'd take him off too. Agree with the rest.
That means that there are 6 clearly ahead of him. Then maybe Yandle and Letang. I'd probably put him after that with maybe Seabrook and Staal and ahead of Doughty at this point. Soon Lidstrom and Pronger will probably be out of that group although who knows with Lidstrom.
I don't know if I'd put him in the top 10 yet there's other dmen I'd take over him and though he's very good defensively he still needs to work on aspects of that - but top 15-20 definitely. Still pretty underrated for what he brings just because he's such a quietly efficient player excluding his one booming hit a year in the playoffs.
And absolutely agree that AV doesn't get enough credit for how he's worked with and developed young players.
Hamhuis will continue to be massively underrated - in a similar fashion to Mattias Ohlund when he was in his prime - as long as he posts middle of the road offensive stats. Edler will always score more.
hamhuis is undderated for his skillset alone. shuts down the top guys. hits and is a poise with the puck. HE is the glue of the defense imo. makes kevin bieska looks good on most nights. edler on the other hand is the canucks # 1 undisputed. hits/scores/ defensively he's alright. top 10? not yet. rank along 10-15 list then sure. edler is there.
but if he was truly a top 10 d-man we would have won last year.
as a canucks fan, i'd rank edler somewhere between 12 and 20.
as stated by other canucks fans upthread, edler has had dominant stretches, but has shown himself to be inconsistent as a true game changer. i liken this to phaneuf when he was a first team all-star, or weber two years ago, when he finished fourth for the norris and was a single third place vote away from being a second team all-star. i think both those guys were ahead of where edler currently is, but they were both overrated because they were big strong d-men who made highlight reel hits and had big shots from the point (plus the young guy who will improve factor that has historically gotten young guys undue norris and all-star votes-- see: gary suter in the late 80s, niedermayer in '89, arguably mike green). the flashy aspects of their games covered up the fact that neither were all that great defensively (yet). they weren't top 5 d-men in the league during those seasons, and edler is not a top ten guy in the league right now (though to be fair, few canucks fans would argue that he is-- if anyone is overrating edler, it's east coast media guys who look at his points totals and highlight reel hits and call him a norris dark horse).
now the amazing stretches we've seen, particularly that series against LA two years ago, if edler can do that consistently, he's a contender for top five d-man in the league status, and might even contend for a norris in career years. if he improves on his best play to date, he could be a bona fide norris contender year after year. but he's a long way away from that right now.
and i say all this despite the fact that edler is my favourite player in the league. if edler becomes as special as i think he can, we'll enjoy it when he gets there. for now, i'm happy to celebrate the great young player that he is instead of pretending he already is what he hopefully will become.
i like the hamhuis and ohlund comparison above. i'd extend that to compare edler to prime jovo. jovo also wasn't a true top ten, but because of his physical play and offensive stats people thought he was. ohlund was our true most important d-man during the WCE days, as is hamhuis... for now at least.
Depends on what we mean by a "top defensemen". If we mean "elite", then I disagree - he's capable of playing like one periodically, but he has not been able to do that over a consistent stretch of time a la the Lidstroms, Charas and Webers of the league. But I don't think it's too big of a stretch to say he's a Top 15 Defensemen.
Edler with Hamhuis' defensive consistency is a top 10 dman. With more consistent physical play reminiscent of playoff Edler on top of that and he's a top 5 dman with a legitimate shot at a Norris. I'm pulling for him to put it all together, but it's a huge leap for any player to make.