Defensive-zone puck-battles are a key play for any team. A team with a group of defensemen who can win the majority of these plays will undoubtedly be successful keeping the opposition off the score sheet.
Defensive-zone puck-battles can be won with raw physical strength, but most are won with a good stick. A good stick is the main ingredient in any successful defenseman. Whether their name is Nicklas Lidstrom or Andrei Markov, a close eye on how they actually win most of their defensive-zone puck-battles will justify this point.
A player is credited with a successful defensive-zone puck-battle when one of the following events occur:
-Wall or open-ice 1on1 puck-battle is won
-Race to loose puck is won
-Player breaks up a rush
-Player lifts another player's stick in the slot to prevent a scoring chance.
A player is credited with an unsuccessful defensive-zone puck-battle when one of the following events occur:
-Wall or open-ice 1on1 puck-battle is lost
-Race to loose puck is lost
-Pass in defensive-zone goes through defenseman (under stick or between legs)
-Unable to handle pass in defensive-zone
-Gets beat 1on1 by onrushing opposition player
Ranking for Scouted defensemen
Players with high percentages within this metric include Stuart Percy, Adam Clendening, Jonas Brodin and Oscar Klefbom.
Stuart Percy has the top defensive-zone puck-battle winning-percentage (79%) among draft-eligible defensemen scouted. Percy has 2 of the top 5 percentages (79%, 70%), and notched these marks while playing against high-end competition in the Memorial Cup.
Adam Clendening has two d-zone puck-battle winning-percentages (78%, 66%) among the top-6 calculated. Clendening's numbers are particularly impressive because he posted them while playing in the NCAA against older players.
Highly-ranked Swedish defensemen Jonas Brodin (77%) and Oscar Klefbom (75%) round out the top-4. Brodin and Klefbom posted their numbers during the Under-18 final against the US; where they absolutely dominated 1on1 puck-battles against competition their own age.
|PLAYER||DEFENSIVE-ZONE PUCK-BATTLES WINNING PERCENTAGE||PLAYER|
|STUART PERCY||79||STUART PERCY|
|ADAM CLENDENING||78||ADAM CLENDENING|
|JONAS BRODIN||77||JONAS BRODIN|
|OSCAR KLEFBOM||75||OSCAR KLEFBOM|
|STUART PERCY||70||STUART PERCY|
|ADAM CLENDENING||66||ADAM CLENDENING|
|DYLAN DEMELO||58||DYLAN DEMELO|
|ROBBIE RUSSO||58||ROBBIE RUSSO|
|GUILLAUME CLOUTIER||58||GUILLAUME CLOUTIER|
|KEEVIN CUTTING||57||KEEVIN CUTTING|
|DYLAN DEMELO||57||DYLAN DEMELO|
|MICHAEL PALIOTTA||57||MICHAEL PALIOTTA|
|GABRIEL BOURRET||55||GABRIEL BOURRET|
|RASMUS BENGTSSON||55||RASMUS BENGTSSON|
|NATHAN BEAULIEU||52||NATHAN BEAULIEU|
|STUART PERCY||52||STUART PERCY|
|KEEVIN CUTTING||44||KEEVIN CUTTING|
|NATHAN BEAULIEU||40||NATHAN BEAULIEU|
|CONNOR MURPHY||38||CONNOR MURPHY|
|JAGGER DIRK||36||JAGGER DIRK|
|KARL JOHANSSON||36||KARL JOHANSSON|
|GABRIEL BOURRET||33||GABRIEL BOURRET|