SI's Pierre McGuire ranks the top five NHL defensemen who are 22 and younger (stats through Sunday)
1. JONI PITKANEN, 20, Flyers
Strong in his own zone and seldom gets caught out of position because he has great quickness and lateral mobility; as good offensively as he is defensively; could be a Norris Trophy winner one day.
2. JAY BOUWMEESTER, 20, Panthers
May be the best and most fluid skater who is 6'4" or taller to ever play in the league; a slick passer who knows when to join the rush, he's becoming more aggressive defensively.
3. BARRET JACKMAN, 22, Blues
Sidelined for the season with a shoulder injury, the 2002-03 Calder Trophy winner will be a force for years; the fearless defensive standout will do anything to win.
4. PAUL MARTIN, 22, Devils
Outstanding fundamentally with strong skating ability that helps him overcome relatively slight build (6'1", 190 pounds); makes solid decisions with the puck, especially when moving it out of his zone.
5. STEVE EMINGER, 20, Capitals
Team's smartest all-around blueliner; doesn't back down when challenged; excellent at moving the puck out of his zone.