5. Bobby Orr:
The records of Orr are simply breathtaking for an NHL defensemen and will most likely never be topped. He won eight straight Norris Trophies as the NHL’s top defenseman, a record. Orr is the only defenseman to lead the NHL in scoring as well, having done so twice. He also still holds the records for points and assists in a single season by a defenseman. Realistically, Orr simply rewrote the record book on what a defenseman could accomplish in the NHL.
Sadly, knee injuries robbed Orr of much of his prime years. He played 10 seasons for Boston and two with Chicago. But he only played six games his final year in 1978. All told, he underwent 12 knee surgeries and could hardly skate by the end of his career. Orr was only 30 years old when he stepped down. He eventually became the youngest player to be inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame at 31 years old.