Just think of the great ones: Bobby Orr, Doug Harvey, Nicklas Lidstrom, Ray Bourque, Denis Potvin, Larry Robinson, and Paul Coffey.

Not to mention Red Kelly, Chris Chelios, Tom Johnson, Rod Langway, Doug Wilson, and Scott Niedermayer, all among the more accomplished defencemen to play in the NHL.

Heady company, indeed, especially for a 21-year-defenceman who is only in his third NHL season.

But that is the company that Erik Karlsson found himself in after Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk reached for the hyperbole on Sunday and predicted that Karlsson will "go down in history as one of the great defenceman of all time."