It’s a good time to be an offensive defenseman in the NHL. To wit: for 10 franchises, the active blueline scoring leader also stands up as the team’s all-time blueline point man.
Note: For active leaders, only players who are still with the team were considered. For example, in Boston, Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug are ahead of Charlie McAvoy on the franchise’s D-man scoring list, but Chara and Krug no longer play for the Bruins, so McAvoy is credited as the team’s active leader.
Here’s the all-time defenseman scoring leader and active defenseman scoring leader for each of the NHL’s 31 teams:
All-time leader: Cam Fowler (314 points)
Active leader: Cam Fowler (314 points)
Fowler, 29, already holds the Ducks’ career scoring record for defensemen, and he’s signed for five more years beyond this season so he has a chance to really pad his lead on second-place Scott Niedermayer (264 points). Hampus Lindholm sits third on Anaheim’s list with 199 points.
All-time leader: Teppo Numminen (534 points)
Active leader: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (375 points)
Trivia timeout: Numminen was plus-42 during his time with the Coyotes, but the franchise’s next 15 highest-scoring D-men have all been minus players, including Ekman-Larsson (minus-100), Frederik Olausson (335 points, minus-56), Dave Babych (321 points, minus-124) and Keith Yandle (311 points, minus-34). Tim Watters, the 16th-highest scoring D-man (122 points) who played for the original Winnipeg Jets in the 1980s, was plus-10 in 438 games.
All-time leader: Ray Bourque (1,506 points)
Active leader: Charlie McAvoy (109 points)
Bourque, the NHL’s all-time leading defenseman scorer, amassed 1,506 of his 1,579 career points with the Bruins. Boston’s second-leading ‘D’ scorer wasn’t bad, either: Bobby Orr had 888 points in 631 games before spending his final two injury-plagued seasons with Chicago. Among active players, McAvoy is the Bruins’ leader following the UFA departures of third-place Chara (481 points) and fifth-place Krug (337 points). Brad Park (417 points) sits fourth in case you’re wondering.
All-time leader: Phil Housley (558 points)
Active leader: Rasmus Ristolainen (235 points)
Housley, the all-time leading American-born defenseman – and fourth overall – with 1,232 career points, did much of his damage with Buffalo, the team that drafted him sixth overall in 1982. Ristolainen sits seventh on the franchise list, though the one to watch is 25th-place Rasmus Dahlin (95 points).
All-time leader: Al MacInnis (822 points)
Active leader: Mark Giordano (496 points)
MacInnis, the third-highest scoring defenseman in NHL history with 1,274 points, did most of his slapshot-inflicted damage with Calgary, the team that drafted him 15th overall in 1981. Giordano, signed through 2021-22, has a chance to pass Gary Suter (564 points) for second place.
All-time leader: Justin Faulk (258 points)
Active leader: Jaccob Slavin (159 points)
Slavin, Brett Pesce (116 points) and Dougie Hamilton (99 points) sit second, third and fourth on the Canes’ all-time list, and Faulk’s total is relatively low, so let’s revisit the order in a few seasons. Also: Faulk was minus-100 in 559 games with Carolina, while Slavin (plus-62 in 400 games), Pesce (plus-56 in 376 games) and Hamilton (plus-38 in 155 games) check in on the other side of the plus/minus register.
All-time leader: Doug Wilson (779 points)
Active leader: Duncan Keith (620 points)
Before he became San Jose’s longtime GM, Wilson had a Hall of Fame career as an offensive defenseman. Keith ranks second on Chicago’s all-time ‘D’ list, but at 37 it’s highly unlikely that he’ll catch Wilson. The recently retired Brent Seabrook sits seventh among Hawks defenders with 464 points.
All-time leader: Tyson Barrie (307 points)
Active leader: Erik Johnson (213 points)
Adam Foote played 967 games for Quebec and Colorado, but his defensive diligence limited his offensive output (259 points). So, Barrie’s the blueliner to beat. Cale Makar looks like a no-brainer to quickly rise up the rankings, considering he’s already 30th with 64 points in just 72 career games. But don’t sleep on Samuel Girard (100 points in 243 games), either.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
All-time leader: Seth Jones (208 points)
Active leader: Seth Jones (208 points)
If they both stick around for a while, 26-year-old Jones and 23-year-old Zach Werenski (180 points) should put some distance between themselves and current runner-up Fedor Tyutin (185 points). Rostislav Klesla, Columbus’ first-ever draft pick at fourth overall in 2000, ranks sixth among all-time Blue Jackets D-men with 133 points in 515 games.
All-time leader: Sergei Zubov (549 points)
Active leader: John Klingberg (308 points)
The Stars know all about underrated defensemen, with Zubov, Craig Hartsburg (413 points with Minnesota North Stars in the 1980s) and Daryl Sydor (334 points) sitting atop the franchise’s blueline scoring list. Speaking of underrated, it’s a bit surprising to see Klingberg already in fourth place in franchise history. Miro Heiskanen is 26th and climbing with 81 points.
DETROIT RED WINGS
All-time leader: Nicklas Lidstrom (1,142 points)
Active leader: Danny DeKeyser (126 points)
Lidstrom is the sixth-highest scoring defenseman in NHL history, but he’s the highest-scoring D-man to spend his entire NHL career with the same franchise. DeKeyser is going to have to pick up the pace…
All-time leader: Paul Coffey (669 points)
Active leader: Oscar Klefbom (156 points)
Coffey is the second-highest scoring defenseman in NHL history, including 669 points with Edmonton before spreading the rest of his 1,531-point career total among eight other NHL teams. Darnell Nurse (141 points) is coming hard after Klefbom, who’s inactive this season due to injury.
All-time leader: Robert Svehla (290 points)
Active leader: Aaron Ekblad (231 points)
Ekblad and Keith Yandle (221 points) sit second and third on Florida’s all-time list, having passed Jay Bouwmeester (203 points) last season.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
All-time leader: Drew Doughty (524 points)
Active leader: Drew Doughty (524 points)
Doughty’s under contract for six more years beyond this season, so he’s going to be miles ahead of Rob Blake (494 points) and Steve Duchesne (315 points) and everyone else on L.A.’s list by the time he calls it a career.
All-time leader: Ryan Suter (358 points)
Active leader: Ryan Suter (358 points)
Suter, who seems to be on the ice for every minute of every game, is under contract for four more years beyond this season, but he’s got runner-up Jared Spurgeon (285 points) gaining ground and third-place Matt Dumba (184 points) isn’t out of it, either.
All-time leader: Larry Robinson (883 points)
Active leader: Jeff Petry (204 points)
Here are the Canadiens’ top five highest-scoring defensemen: Robinson, Guy Lapointe (572 points), Andrei Markov (572 points), Doug Harvey (447 points) and Serge Savard (412 points). While Markov never won a Stanley Cup with Montreal, Robinson (six), Lapointe (six), Harvey (six) and Savard (eight) have 26 Cup rings between them. Not bad.
All-time leader: Shea Weber (443 points)
Active leader: Roman Josi (429 points)
It’s a who’s who of premier Preds defensemen on the franchise’s all-time blueline scoring list: on top it’s Weber and heir apparent Josi, followed by Kimmo Timonen (301 points), Ryan Ellis (261 points), Ryan Suter (238 points), Mattias Ekholm (206 points), Marek Zidlicky (175 points), Dan Hamhuis (174 points) and P.K. Subban (130 points).
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
All-time leader: Scott Niedermayer (476 points)
Active leader: Damon Severson (171 points)
Scott Stevens (430 points), Bruce Driver (399 points) and Brian Rafalski (311 points) delivered significant offensive contributions from the back end, but Niedermayer was a generational defender who was every bit as important to the Devils’ three Stanley Cup championships as Martin Brodeur.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
All-time leader: Denis Potvin (1,052 points)
Active leader: Nick Leddy (229 points)
Potvin is the NHL’s seventh-highest scoring defenseman of all-time – and the second-highest scoring defenseman to spend his entire career with the same franchise, behind only Lidstrom in Detroit. Leddy will have to settle for trying to overtake second-place Stefan Persson (369 points).
NEW YORK RANGERS
All-time leader: Brian Leetch (981 points)
Active leader: Tony DeAngelo (92 points)
Leetch is the NHL’s eighth-highest scoring defenseman of all-time, and he collected 981 of his career 1,028 points with the Rangers before stints with Toronto and Boston. Ron Greschner (610 points) and James Patrick (467 points) round out the Rangers’ top three. As for the active leader, well, it’s complicated: persona non grata DeAngelo has more points than any current Rangers D-men, but he’s on his way out of town so sophomore Adam Fox (57 points) is the one to watch.
All-time leader: Erik Karlsson (518 points)
Active leader: Thomas Chabot (139 points)
Karlsson racked up his franchise-leading total in 627 games to beat out Wade Redden (410 points in 838 games), Chris Phillips (288 points in 1,179 games) and Chara (146 points in 299 games). Chabot already ranks fifth on the Sens’ all-time list.
All-time leader: Mark Howe (480 points)
Active leader: Shayne Gostisbehere (207 points)
Never forget that Gordie’s kid was a pretty good hockey player in his own right – in fact, he was a Hall of Famer. ‘Ghost Bear’ holds the active lead but keep an eye on Ivan Provorov (145 points) over the long haul. Timonen, who’s third on Nashville’s all-time list, also sits third among Flyers D-men (270 points).
All-time leader: Kris Letang (556 points)
Active leader: Kris Letang (556 points)
Letang’s longevity (834 games and counting) helped him overtake the likes of runner-up Coffey (440 points in 331 games), Randy Carlyle (323 points in 397 games), Larry Murphy (301 points in 336 games) and Sergei Gonchar (259 points in 322 games). And lest we forget, preceding all those players was Ron Stackhouse (343 points in 621 games), one of the few bright spots on the moribund pre-Mario Penguins teams of the 1970s.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
All-time leader: Al MacInnis (452 points)
Active leader: Colton Parayko (167 points)
Alex Pietrangelo (450 points) was on the verge of passing MacInnis, but he left for UFA riches in Vegas. So, MacInnis reigns as the only defenseman to lead two NHL franchises in blueline scoring (also Calgary). Parayko just cracked the top 10.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
All-time leader: Brent Burns (525 points)
Active leader: Brent Burns (525 points)
Burns is nearly 200 points ahead of runner-up Marc-Edouard Vlasic (330 points) on the all-time list, and The Bearded One has scored more than twice as many goals as any other Sharks defensemen – he’s red-lighted 160 times for San Jose, compared to 73 for Vlasic.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
All-time leader: Victor Hedman (499 points)
Active leader: Victor Hedman (499 points)
As he verges on NHL milestone point No. 500, there’s little doubt about Tampa Bay’s best-ever defenseman. To be sure, Hedman’s immense value is measured in many ways that aren’t captured on the scoresheet, but it doesn’t hurt that he’s the franchise’s most prolific blueline producer. Dan Boyle (253 points) and Pavel Kubina (243 points) round out the top three, while Mikhail Sergachev (125 points) has already climbed to sixth place all-time.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
All-time leader: Borje Salming (768 points)
Active leader: Morgan Rielly (292 points)
One of the first – and best – players to make the jump from Europe to the NHL in the early 1970s, Salming sits atop the Leafs’ blueline scoreboard. Tomas Kaberle (520 points), Tim Horton (458 points), Ian Turnbull (414 points) and Jim McKenny (327 points) round out a pretty impressive top five. (Editor’s note: This section originally listed Red Kelly in fifth place among Leafs D-men with 351 points, but Kelly moved up to play forward with Toronto after playing defense for the first 13 seasons of his career with Detroit.)
All-time leader: Alexander Edler (407 points)
Active leader: Alexander Edler (407 points)
Edler has been a constant on the Canucks’ blueline for 15 seasons and he has the points to prove it. Mattias Ohlund (325 points), Jyrki Lumme (321 points), Dennis Kearns (321 points) and Doug Lidster (307 points) are tightly bunched behind Edler. The gauntlet has been thrown for Quinn Hughes (80 points).
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
All-time leader: Shea Theodore (130 points)
Active leader: Shea Theodore (130 points)
Hey, that’s not bad for a franchise that hasn’t even played three seasons’ worth of games.
All-time leader: John Carlson (502 points)
Active leader: John Carlson (502 points)
Carlson passed Calle Johansson (474 points) late last season and now he’s padding his lead atop the Caps’ list. And it’s a good list – after Johansson, there’s Scott Stevens (429 points), Kevin Hatcher (426 points), Sergei Gonchar (416 points), Mike Green (360 points) and Larry Murphy (345 points).
All-time leader: Dustin Byfuglien (416 points)
Active leader: Josh Morrissey (119 points)
Byfuglien’s big shot also produced more than twice as many goals as runner-up Tobias Enstrom (122-54). Enstrom (308 points), Jacob Trouba (179 points) and Zach Bogosian (127 points) sit between Byfuglien and fifth-place Morrissey.