Average Height and Weight of Hockey Defenseman (NHL 2023)


Average Height and Weight of NHL Defenseman

I’ve been a collegiate sports performance coach for 20 years. One thing I always felt was effective was showing guys the heights and weights of players at their position in the pros.

It helped give many players the extra motivation needed to gain weight when they were able to compare themselves to guys at the next level.

So, this is essentially the same research I would share with players, but now I’m sharing it with you. I took the active rosters for the 2022-2023 NHL hockey season, over 800 players total and broke them down by position.

For this guide, I took an average of the heights and weights of the 261 defensemen across the league. In addition, just for fun, I listed the tallest, shortest, heaviest and lightest defensemen as well. Go ahead and impress someone today with your newfound random hockey knowledge.

Average Height of an NHL Defenseman

The average height of an NHL Defenseman is 73.76 inches (just under 6’2″ tall)

Average Weight of an NHL Defenseman

The average weight of an NHL Defenseman is 202.84 pounds.

Who Are The Tallest Defensemen in the NHL?

There are 4 players listed at 6’7″ or taller, the tallest being Tyler Myers at 6’8″.

Tallest Defensemen in the NHL
Player Height Position Team
Tyler Myers 6’8″ Defense Vancouver Canucks
Jamie Oleksiak 6’7″ Defense Seattle Kraken
Logan Stanley 6’7″ Defense Winnipeg Jets
Victor Hedman 6’7″ Defense Tampa Bay Lightning

Who are the Shortest Defensemen in the NHL?

There are actually 6 guys all tied at 5’9″ as the shortest defensemen in the league.

Shortest Defensemen in the NHL
Player Height Position Team
Jacob Bryson 5’9″ Defense Buffalo Sabres
Victor Mete 5’9″ Defense Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Blankensburg 5’9″ Defense Columbus Blue Jackets
Brad Hunt 5’9″ Defense Colorado Avalanche
Jared Spurgeon 5’9″ Defense Minnesota Wild
Torey Krug 5’9″ Defense St Louis Blues

Who are the Heaviest Defensemen in the NHL?

There are 5 defensemen in the NHL that weigh 235 pounds or more.

Heaviest Defensemen in the NHL
Player Weight Position Team
Jamie Oleksiak 257 Defense Seattle Kraken
Nikita Zadorov 248 Defense Calgary Flames
Victor Hedman 244 Defense Tampa Bay Lightning
Arber Xhekaj 238 Defense Montreal Canadiens
David Savard 235 Defense Montreal Canadiens

Who are the Lightest Defensemen in the NHL?

There are only 6 guys (out of 216) who weigh less than 175 pounds.

Lightest Defensemen in the NHL
Player Weight Position Team
Jared Spurgeon 166 Defense Minnesota Wild
Samuel Girard 170 Defense Colorado Avalanche
Calen Addison 173 Defense Minnesota Wild
Alex Goligoski 173 Defense Minnesota Wild
J.J. Moser 173 Defense Arizona Coyotes
Alexandre Carrier 174 Defense Nashville Predators

Defensemen vs Forwards (Height & Weight)

If you’re curious to know how defensemen compare to forwards when it comes to size, you’re in luck, because I broke down all the forwards as well.

On average, there isn’t really much of a difference at all. There is less of an inch difference in average height (73.76 vs 72.9 for forwards). And, the difference in weight is only about 5 pounds (202.84 vs 197.67 for forwards).

The biggest difference I noticed when comparing the two position groups is there are more defensive guys at the upper end than forwards. For example, even though there are almost half as many defensemen as forwards in the league, there are more defensemen over 230 pounds than forwards.

On the other hand, there are just as many defensemen on the smaller side, like Jared Spurgeon (5’9″ and 166 pounds), as there are smaller forwards.

Final Thoughts

So, what did I learn?

At 6’7″ and 257 pounds, it’s hard to dispute that Jamie Oleksiak is the biggest player in the NHL. At his size, he almost looks more like an NFL Tight End than a hockey player.

I’m always fascinated by the range of body types that play the same positions. You find it in sports like football and basketball and you see it here in hockey as well. Guys that are almost a foot different in height (from 6’8″ to 5’9″) and almost 100 pounds in weight (166 to 257) are all playing the same position at the very highest level.

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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