Carolina Hurricanes Defense Search: Top Five Free Agent Defensemen

Oct 28, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Jaccob Slavin (74) skates with the puck during the second period against the New York Rangers at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defensemen Jaccob Slavin (74) skates with the puck during the second period against the New York Rangers at PNC Arena. The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the New York Rangers 3-2. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 2, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) checks New Jersey Devils left wing Michael Cammalleri (13) while battling for the puck in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) checks New Jersey Devils left wing Michael Cammalleri (13) while battling for the puck in the third period at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

1. Kevin Shattenkirk

Kevin Shattenkirk will be the most sought after free agent defenseman this offseason.  He most likely will get a contract of six or seven years with an AAV between 5 and 6 million dollars.  While the length may get teams in the end for the first three or so years of the contract it will be worth it.  Shattenkirk is one of the best puck-moving defensemen in the league.

Shattenkirk’s Corsi percentage the past four seasons has only dipped below the 50 percent mark a couple of times.  Even those stretches of subpar hockey were briefly turned around.  A lot of teams could use a guy like Shattenkirk to bolster their defensive corp.

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With the rumors saying that Shattenkirk is a lock for the New York Rangers this season, most of those teams will be disappointed.  Luckily the Carolina Hurricanes have plenty of top pairing puck-moving defensemen in both Jaccob Slavin and Justin Faulk.  It will be interesting to see the final value of Shattenkirk’s contract given the difference between him and the rest of the defensive free agent class.