The fourth and final position we are going to look at with overpaid players is defense. These players usually do not receive much money, but it seems that half of the time their contracts are closed, it looks very bad. Here are the top 10 defenders in the NHL in the 2021-2022 season to be overpaid.
10. Eric Carlson ($ 11.5 million)
Eric Carlson is having a lucrative year, but that does not change the fact that he is the NHL’s most lucrative defender and the fourth highest paid player. He has scored 10 goals and 33 points this season, but once again lost a considerable amount of time to the injury of San Jose Sharks.
The Sharks really hope that the injury will not cause Carlson’s game to deteriorate again, as he still has a very high contract for another five seasons. At the time of signing, he was still receiving some of the Norris Award, but his injury is detrimental, and he is only on the list because of his hat-trick compared to NHL defenders.
9. Eric Johnson ($ 6 million)
Eric Johnson is not having a bad year, but as he gets older and less productive, his contract looks worse. He will have his best season of 2017-2018, but Colorado Avalanche will pay him $ 6 million to play as a third defender.
Avalanche defense can be considered the best in the league and this team will not be able to pay extra for a player in the role of Johnson. Fortunately for them, he only has one more year, but they may lose one or two players during that time. He increases his offensive production and at the same time plays less time, but as I mentioned, that is the problem. His ownership criteria for playing for a dominant team are as low as average.
8. Jeff Petrie ($ 6.25 million)
Jeff Petri used to be worth every penny he got, but this season has been a problem for him and the Montreal Canadians. He started the season without a goal in his first 9 games and scored only two assists in 28 games. Since then, partly due to a change of coach, he has scored 4 goals and 14 points in his last 29 games. But even those numbers are not worth more than $ 6 million this season.
In the last four years, Petri has scored double-digit goals, reaching 40 points each season. He has also been factor-free in PowerPlay this season. The goals he expects for / against are the worst goals he has ever scored for him before joining the Canadiens in the 2014-2015 season. At 34, it will be difficult to change that for next season, even under Martin St. Louis. Players or defenders usually do not get better at this stage of their careers, as Petri’s peak already seems to have come and gone.
7. Anton Stralman ($ 5.5 million)
Some of you may have forgotten about Anton Stralman, because the Arizona Coyotes are a low power feeder and his name is not mentioned much. He has had a good season in the last team and his ownership criteria are exactly what you expect from a team that has a goal almost every night.
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His contract this season is worth it for the Coyotes, as they are in a transition period in which they have suffered bad contracts and a lot of money to store potential pools and drafts of their choice. Australman is a lower pair defender who has a good penalty on most teams, but plays a little more on the coyotes. Given his talent, which he shows while on the ice, he is not worth $ 5.5 million, but since he is on the team and plays a bigger role, it is not higher.
6. Danny De Kaiser ($ 5 million)
Danny De Kaiser has been offensive this season without a factor, as he could have made a significant contribution, at least during the season. He has scored just 7 assists in 46 games and is only one negative point for the second time in his career.
He plays the fourth defender in the Detroit Red Wings, but he was lucky to be a left-back because the right is the team’s strength. He has to compete with Mark Stahl, the player who should be in the third pair, and leave out the NHLers’ Jake Walman and the first of July. DeKeyser is far from last season, and his ownership criteria are too bad to start almost identically in attack and defense.
5. Tyler Myers ($ 6 million)
The two Vancouver Canaks defenders are on the list, but with the right performance in the squad, they will either not be very high or can be removed from the list altogether. In fifth place is Tyler Myers, who earns $ 6 million per season for the next two seasons.
Myers and Oliver Eckmann-Larson are usually defensive partners, but that does not help either of them. Myers’ best analysis comes when he mates with Kevin Hughes and is not even close to any other pair formed for the Kanaks this season. Myers and Hughes spent 200 minutes together on the ice, scoring 62.5 goals per percentage point (GF%) and 53.49 goals per percentage point (xGF%).
Myers spent 828 minutes on the ice with Eckman-Larson and has 50% GF at 48.48 xGF, much worse than Hughes. Since most of the season has been spent with Eckman-Larson, Myers has had a much worse season than he could have had together, so he has placed him at the top of the list.
4. Nikita Zaitsev ($ 4.5 million)
Nikita Zaitsev’s contract is not high, but he has fallen even further this season, playing an average of the fewest minutes of his six-year career. Given the small amount that is being done at this stage and the money that is going to be given to younger and better players, $ 4.5 million does not look any better after this season.
Zaitsev has not been very good in defense with anyone except Thomas Chabat, and he has been out for some time. Ottawa senators need to understand what to do with the deal if they plan to take a step forward with two years left. He is at best a third-pair defender who does not play offensively, even when playing on top pairs. He has to make half of what is best for a low-back in a non-playoff team.
Oliver Eckmann-Larson ($ 7.26 million)
Ekman-Larson was expected to be an attacking defender for the Kanaks, after they traded him and Connor Garland out of the coyotes. Apart from Hughes, no other defender on the team has played an effective offensive role. Ekman-Larson has scored just four goals and 17 assists and is not part of the first unit of power.
He earns less than Hughes and takes most of the penalties before Travis Dermot wins. He only has average shots and blocked shots. He has to be on the ice’s star to be worth his income, especially with a younger, more skilled defender who also gets a lot of money. He has performed well defensively, but at a much higher cost than a team that is closed for a team.
2. Mark Edward Velasic ($ 7 million)
The contract of Mark Edward Velasic for the Sharks, who are trying to transfer to a younger team but remain in competition, is out of control. When a ton of money is tied to veterans who have reached their peak, it does not help. Velasic is the worst of them all, playing in the third pair for 15 minutes a night for $ 7 million.
He had a healthy scratch earlier this season, which makes it worse that his contract is extended for another four seasons, after which he turns 39 years old. It’s not like he was given a big deal to win the Stanley Cup, like a lot of people, this contract was given to him to prepare him until he is past his peak years after leaving the first round.
1. PK Subban ($ 9 million)
Finally, the highest defense in the NHL is PK Sabban of the New Jersey Devils. He is one of the 25 highest paid players in the NHL this season and his level of skill and production is not close to anyone else. Fortunately for the Devils, his contract expires at the end of the season.
Saben plays in the third pair and has not been an effective defender since the 2017-2018 season when he was still at Nashville Predators. The demons really took pity on the hunters by taking the sababs out of their hands, because the one-time winner of the Norris Prize has fallen aggressively. His total points are currently always low, with just 21 points in 66 games this season, significantly less per game, no power play time, and prone to bad penalties. Do not expect him to sign even a third of his current contract next season.
Are there any surprises above? Let me know in the comments if you agree with the list or who needs to change.
Rob Couch is a THW freelance writer who covers mainly Edmonton Eulers and Philadelphia Flyers. It covers everything you need to know about fantasy hockey. He also keeps you up to date with NHL stats, trade deals and daily betting guides.
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