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Who is the next Nicklas Lidstrom?

Nicklas Lidstrom is one of the NHL's greatest defensemen ever. Which current players' skills and production are the closest match to his? Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Nicklas Lidstrom is one of hockey's most accomplished defensemen of all time, and generations of hockey players could come and go before we see his equal.

That makes Lidstrom the perfect candidate to serve as a measuring stick against which to evaluate this season's hottest defensemen.

In his storied 20-year career, Lidstrom won the Norris Trophy seven times, was a runner-up three more times, won the Stanley Cup four times and won the Conn Smythe in 1997-98. He was named a first-team NHL All-Star on 10 occasions and was named to the second team twice more.

Modern statistical analysis has advanced to the point where some of the attributes that made Lidstrom so successful can be measured and used to find players who are growing into similar roles today.