Howard? Overrated. Let's see how he does with a porous defense where he might actually face a few shots.
Kronwall? Second pairing defenseman on a good team.
Filppula? Third liner. Guess how many times he's scored over 40 points? Once, last year. He has one good year and suddenly he's top 6 material? I don't think so.
Hudler? He's another third liner. Top 6 if he's playing with a good center maybe. Doesn't matter though, he walked.
Quincey? He's never scored more than 38 points in a season and has been a plus player only one time. He's a second or third pairing guy.
I think you're reaching A LOT here. None of these players are elite. Howard is the closest thing to it and even he can be pretty suspect at times.
Howard is better than Backstrom in every conceivable way 2/3 past seasons. top 6 in GAA/SV% his first year, and 6th in SV% and 3rd in GAA in goalies playing 50 games. If anything he's underrated considering people still want to grant the Wings are an elite defensive club, when they led the lead in playoffs in odd man rushes against(22 to 4 in the series).
What good team's are you referring to? LA? Well Kronwall put up 5 more goals and had the same points as the 7 million dollar top pairing guy 24 minute guy for the Stanley Cup winning team. To put it in perspective Kronwall was 4th in the entire league in goals for defenseman, all while bring very good skating/puck moving ability and a dominate physical edge which the likes of other top defenseman wanes.
And yes throw out Filpulla's best year where he matched Patrick Kane, beat Couture, Bergeron, Getzlaf, Stastsny, Plekanec, Lecavalier, Staal. Even if he regresses back to 40 points he'd still be will with in the top 50 in centers, all while giving you very good defensive presence. Not to mention the fact that he started playing 2 minutes more a game last year, and gained close to 50 more minutes of powerplay time compared to the year before, no that couldn't help him produce more points at all you are right,
Hudler, 50 point guy, puts him in the top 100 for forwards, which is easily fits him into the top 6. More points than Ladd, J.Staal, Doan, Simmonds, Kesler, Lecavlier, Voracek, Breire, Smyth, Clower, Skinner, which are pretty clear top 6 forward.
Quincey I'll give you the question is still out, however he has proved that he can put up a .7 ppg throughout a season before, which would put him easily in the top 10 for defenseman. As it stands with his 26 points, he's still in the top 60 that puts him as a top 4, albeit a bottom tier one.