Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2021-22 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced today. Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy (in alphabetical order):
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman was the anchor of a Lightning defense that helped the team post a 51-23-8 record for 110 points, the third-highest total in franchise history. He recorded career highs and ranked among the top three NHL defensemen in goals (3rd, 20), assists (2nd, 65) and points (3rd, 85). The assist and point totals set Tampa Bay franchise records for defensemen and his 20 goals tied the mark set by Dan Boyle in 2006-07. He played all 82 games and ranked second in the NHL in total ice time (2,056:12), an average of 25:05 per game. Only one Lightning skater had recorded 2,000 minutes in a season (Boyle, 2,201:57 in 2006-07) since the statistic was introduced in 1997-98. Hedman, who won the Norris Trophy in 2017-18 and placed third in voting in 2016-17, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21, is a finalist for the sixth consecutive season. The last NHL blueliner to record as long a streak was Nicklas Lidstrom, from 1997-98 through 2002-03.
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Josi became the NHL’s highest-scoring defenseman in 29 years, posting 23-73–96 in 80 games to help the Predators (45-30-7, 97 points) make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the eighth consecutive season. Only six defensemen in the past 50 years have surpassed Josi’s 96 points in a single campaign: Paul Coffey, Phil Housley, Brian Leetch, Al MacInnis, Bobby Orr and Denis Potvin. Josi set career highs in goals, assists and points, broke the single-season Nashville franchise records among all positions for points and assists, recorded the most assists by any NHL defenseman since Sergei Zubov’s 77 in 1993-94 and led all blueliners with 26 multi-point games. His 281 shots on goal were 41 more than the second-ranked defenseman in 2021-22 and his 59 even-strength points were the most since Ray Bourque’s 59 in 1986-87. Josi is a Norris finalist for the second time; in 2019-20 the Predators captain made franchise history by becoming the first Nashville blueliner to bring the Norris to Music City.
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Makar helped the Avalanche (56-19-7) post a franchise-record 119 points by leading NHL defensemen with 28 goals, becoming just the fifth defenseman in the past 30 years to reach that total (Brent Burns, 29 in 2016-17; Mike Green, 31 in 2008-09; Al MacInnis, 28 in 1993-94; and Kevin Hatcher, 34 in 1992-93). He ranked second among blueliners in points (28-58–86) — the goal and point totals setting franchise marks for defensemen — and ranked fifth among all NHLers in plus-minus (+48). Makar is a Norris finalist for the second consecutive season and is the fourth defenseman to be voted a finalist for an NHL Award in each of his first three seasons, having won the Calder Trophy in his rookie campaign of 2019-20. He is vying to become the first Norris Trophy winner in franchise history, following top-three finishes by Rob Blake (3rd in 2001-02), Ray Bourque (2nd in 2000-01) and Sandis Ozolinsh (3rd in 1996-97).
Did You Know This About Norris Trophy Finalists
The Norris finalists all eclipsed 80 points in 2021-22, marking the first time in 28 years that as many as three blueliners surpassed the milestone in a single season. The 1993-94 campaign saw future Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (91), Sergei Zubov (89) and Al MacInnis (82) do so.
History of Norris Trophy Finalists
The James Norris Memorial Trophy was presented in 1953 by the four children of the late James Norris in memory of the former owner-president of the Detroit Red Wings.
The three finalists for the 2022 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 20. The series of announcements continues Tuesday, May 10, when the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy will be unveiled. Content provided by the NHL for editorial purposes only-all rights reserved.
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