As is typically the case with the defensive rankings there wasn’t a whole lot of big time movement outside of a few players.
Chad Krys – CHI –41st up from 79
One of two Chicago prospects in this column, Krys is this month’s biggest mover and for good reason. The Blackhawks 2016 second rounder had an underwhelming freshman year playing for the Boston Terriers registering five goals, six assists in 39 games in 2016-17. But as a sophomore he’s broken out in a big way. 19 games in the 2017-18 campaign and Krys, playing on the top pair with another 2016 draftee Dante Fabbro, has already flown past his previous year’s totals as he’s amassed 5 goals and a baker’s dozen worth of assists. His production finds him tied for second on BU in scoring and third in the NCAA in among defensemen. For d-men league wide he sits in the top-10 in both goals and, is tied for the lead in power play points with 11, third in shots with 63 and fourth in shots per game. Heading into the holiday break Krys is riding a streak of 10 points over his last six games. Despite being one of the best defensemen in the country he was given the cold shoulder for the WJHC by Team USA. Hopefully he can use this snub as motivation and keep on rolling.
Christian Djoos – WSH – 33rd up from 57
It’s been a bit of a long road to the show for Djoos who was drafted in the seventh round by the Caps way back in 2012.He’s currently competing in his third professional season in North America having really put himself on the map with an outstanding 2016-17 in the AHL for the Hershey Bears. He had a decent rookie campaign with 8 goals and 14 assists in 2015-16 before exploding for 13 goals 45 assists the following season. Djoos surprisingly made the team out of camp to start the season, and while he hasn’t brought a ton of fantasy value thus far, there are some encouraging signs. He sits with two goals and three assists in 25 games for the Caps and when you consider that two of these points came in his first game of the season, it’s fair to say he endured some cold streaks. He went the next 18 games recording just a single assist but has caught fire, relatively speaking, with 2 points in his last six games. The rookie d-man has been averaging just under 14 minutes a game but has been playing a lot on the top pair with John Carlson lately over the last nine games, playing nearly 85 minutes together in five-on-five. Djoos has very little physical game to speak of having registered only seven hits. Weighing just 168 lbs he could stand to put on some mass to help avoid injuries going forward. He is actively trying to put on weight and has gained seven pound over the past year. But so far he’s managed to stay on the ice save for a half dozen games missed in November with a suspected concussion. Expect another year of middling production before putting up any kinds of relevant numbers.