When I first started this series on Sunday, one of the things I mentioned is that these types of rankings are always filled with subjectivity and personal opinion. That's just unavoidable when attempting to tackle a project like this. Your own feelings will get involved, and there's not an absolute, 100 percent accurate way to rank players and get an end-all and be-all order. It's certainly open to debate. And as I pointed out in the Scott Niedermayer comments on Wednesday, I had a difficult time arguing with myself over some of the rankings and players involved.
Kimmo Timonen would be one of those players.
Even though players like Dan Boyle, Andrei Markov and Shea Weber put up better numbers offensively, I don't have any regrets about putting Timonen ahead of them at this point because, to me, he's a better defensive player, and a more complete player. The issue I had was with the No. 41 player, Scott Niedermayer. Looking over the rankings, these two really stood out back-to-back. Just based on name recognition alone I asked himself: is Kimmo Timonen really better, right now, than Scott Niedermayer?
I guess this is where personal opinions come into play, and because I've seen Timonen so much over the past two seasons and really like his game, I went with him. If you're a Ducks fan, or a fan of any Western Conference team, this is where you can complain about the same teams being shown on national television on a regular basis. And it would be a perfectly legitimate gripe, because one of the reasons I selected Timonen over Niedermayer is because I've seen him play more in recent years and feel more comfortable with him at this point. Not six years ago, of course, but, again this is all about right now.
Draft Year: 1993
The 1993 draft is perhaps best known for producing Alexandre Daigle, and his now infamous quote of "nobody remembers who went No. 2" (reminder: it was Chris Pronger in 1993). Timonen was selected by the Los Angeles Kings that year in the 10th round, 250th overall. He never played a game for the Kings, and was traded to Nashville in 1998, along with Jan Vopat, for the always exciting return of "future considerations."
After spending eight years in Nashville, his rights were traded to Philadelphia, along with the rights to Scott Hartnell, following the 2006-07 season for a first-round pick -- a pick that originally belonged to Nashville (the Flyers acquired it in the Peter Forsberg trade earlier that season).
Why He's On My List
As I mentioned above, he's a complete player, and would be a top-pairing defender on every team in the league. He's not going to deliver a crushing open-ice hit, but he's fearless as a shot-blocker and provides plenty of offense from the blue line, registering at least 36 assists in each of the past four seasons.
Obligatory YouTube Video
A feature on the underrated Kimmo Timonen.