We will use the same rules as ESPN did for their top 25 so we can compare when we're done. Also, I should specify that the poll is for who is the better player right now, and not who will be better in the future. Here's why player like Giroux and Landeskog are not included in the poll :
A few other ground rules: As the title of the ranking indicates, players 25 or over -- and those turning 25 before Feb. 1 -- are inelligble for this list. That removes several of the list's previous top names -- including Sidney Crosby, Nicklas Backstrom and Claude Giroux. Also, by looking for an established track record of success rather than future potential, you won't find any of the league's talented 2011-12 rookies on this list. That even includes the NHL's reigning rookie of the year Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins[...]
Shattenkirk seems to be getting overlooked here. The only defensemen to score more points than Shattenkirk in their first two years in the league lockout-to-lockout are Phaneuf and Whitney. The kid is a great offensive defensemen and he really isn't bad at all defensively. He's pretty underrated in that department actually I think.