Miro Heiskanen is underrated. The planet Earth is also round.
Everyone who follows and understands the game already knows this.

When you’re a fan of the Dallas Stars, it’s a fun reality to revisit, but it can be a bit annoying at times.

Nevertheless, Heiskanen is the NHL’s best defenseman who doesn’t get the Norris Trophy consideration.

Shutdown Defense

Cale Makar is the best offensive defenseman in the game. But if you’re asking for somebody to defend Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby, Heiskanen is your guy. Miro back checks, stick checks, skates, as well as anybody, and on occasion, he’ll throw a hit along the boards.

Earlier this year, the Stars had to do without Heiskanen for a little bit. They weren’t the same team. Giving up four or more goals in that early January three-game skid highlighted how valuable Heiskanen is to the team’s defense. Two months later, the Stars helped themselves with that fact by signing Chris Tanev. But Miro is still the number one man on team defense—arguably on the whole team, too.

More with 4

How well would Dallas be playing without Miro in the lineup this year?  That is a question that Stars fans never want to have to answer.  Fortunately, there is nothing to worry about since Heiskanen is healthy.  But it does add perspective to just how valuable he is to this team.

Photo: Juan Figueroa/Dallas News

While we’ve talked about Heiskanen’s fundamentals on defense and skating, he scores, too. On the deepest offensive team in the league, Heiskanen finished seventh in team scoring, tallying 54 points on 9 goals and 45 assists in 71 games. While pundits would’ve liked to see more offense from Heiskanen, his team still won 52 games. Heiskanen delivered when he had to.

The Best Player on the Best in the West

Looking back four years ago, let’s not forget Heiskanen’s brilliance in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. Fast-forward to 2924, and Heiskanen is the engine of the Dallas machine that won the Western Conference this past week. As long as he’s healthy, the Stars have a legitimate chance at playing in June.

If we’re talking potential Conn Smythe nominees in Dallas, Heiskanen’s name will be along with Wyatt Johnston, Joe Pavelski, and Jake Oettinger.
One might think we’re getting ahead of ourselves thinking about this. However, if Dallas does win its second Stanley Cup, it will make these conversations more fun looking back.

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