Better hitter, better defensively. Better offensively but not by much.
1. Dion Phaneuf has registered almost 4x as many hits as Nicklas Kronwall this season (97 vs 25)
2. Only one time over their entire careers has Kronwall surpassed Phaneuf in points (full seasons). This was the 08-09 season where Kronwall registed 51pts while Phaneuf put up 47pts. This was also the same season that Kronwall was a sheltered defenseman behind both Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski in TOI/G (22:53) while Phaneuf was top 5 in TOI/G with 26:31.
Furthermore, Phaneuf leads the #5 PK in SHTOI/G while Kronwall is 3rd in SHTOI/G on the #23 PK. In the same ilk, Phaneuf leads the #14 PP in PPTOI/G while Kronwall tops the #21 PP in PPTOI/G.
--> Not only does Phaneuf log more SHTOI/G than Kronwall and only 12 seconds less PPTOI/G but he plays a whopping ~1:40 more ES minutes than Kronwall per game.
Phaneuf is the captain and most important player on the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's also 5 years younger than Kronwall and has a much higher pedigree (much higher career highs, Norris nomination).
Or... you know, because Kronwall is better offensively, while also being faaar better defensively as well.
I would love to see you prove that.
Dion Phaneuf matches up against some of the toughest competition seen by any defenseman leaguewide and generally does a pretty great job getting in their faces and containing them. It should also be noted that throughout the vast majority of this season he has managed to do so paired with one of two rookie defenseman (Mike Kostka or Korbinian Holzer).
I'd take Phaneuf because he is so valuable to our team. He Avg over 25 minute per game which I think is top ten in this league? There is no defenseman in the leafs organization who can eat up that much minute and be good at the same time.
I personally prefer Phaneuf, but it is close. Phaneuf is just having a great year, on pace for 16 goals and 50 points, doing it all on a much-improved Leafs team, playing more than 2 minutes more than Kronwall a game against slightly tougher competition.
I think this one is close enough where you're going to be looking at personal preference more than stats, because they're pretty similar guys. I just like Phaneuf's game more, but I understand how you can pick Kronwall.