Acquired: Drafted 2nd overall in 2009
After a rocky start to his NHL career, Hedman really established himself as a top defender in 2013-14 by tallying 55 points in 75 games. He went on to win the Norris in 2018 and the Conn Smythe for his 10 goal performance in this year’s playoffs. That resume may not even do him justice, as he is probably the best defenceman in the league today. Unlike Kucherov and Point though, Hedman was expected to be a key piece of the team from the minute he was drafted, and despite some early struggles, he’s more than lived up to that billing.
Comparable: Thomas Chabot, Drafted 18th overall in 2015
As the 28-year old Hedman, Chabot is a bit older than the rest of the young core at 23. While he wasn’t a second overall pick like Hedman, Chabot very quickly became a top-end defensive prospect after being drafted in the first round of 2015. Chabot’s raw numbers look even more impressive than Hedman’s did in the early parts of his career, so if he’s able to take his game to the next level there’s no reason to expect him to be anything less than one of the very best defencemen in the world, something that would be a brilliant complement to Ottawa’s young forwards.