Top 5: Shift Work Leaders

Who jumps over the boards the most so far in 2017-18? This week we take a look at the five players that lead the way when it comes to most total shifts taken.

Who jumps over the boards the most so far in 2017-18? This week we take a look at the five players (all defencemen) that lead the way when it comes to most total shifts taken.

Hint: There are two pairs of teammates – one from East, one from the West – on the list, while the player who holds the No. 1 spot has a pair of Stanley Cups to his name.

Top 5 Total Shifts Taken

1. Drew Doughty – 1,503

A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings, Doughty leads the NHL in total shifts, time on ice per game (27:16) and shifts per game (32.0). The 2016 Norris Trophy winner is one goal away from 100 for his career.

2. Oliver Ekman-Larsson – 1,487

Arizona’s durable defenceman is a two-time 20-goal scorer that’s often tasked with taking on the other team’s top players. The 26-year-old Swede is averaging 24:22 minutes of ice time per game and sits 29 points away from 300 for his NHL career.

3. Jake Gardiner – 1,460

Playing an average of 23:02 minutes per game in 2017-18 – the most since he launched his career in 2011-12 – Gardiner has also upped his shot-blocking game, currently on pace to best the 87 he recorded in the 2013-14 NHL season.

4. Jason Demers – 1,455

The veteran blueliner, who began his NHL life in 2009-10, is playing the most minutes per game (21:58) of his big-league career. The 29-year-old native of Dorval, Quebec, just 13 points shy of the 200 mark, has one game-winning goal so far this campaign.

5. Morgan Rielly – 1,449

As steady as they come, Toronto’s young defensive star is well on pace to eclipse his career-high in points (36) and assists (27). Averaging a shade over 22 minutes of ice time per game, four of his five goals have come at even strength.