The three Norris Trophy candidates are in a tight race, with two past winners and the 2020-21 runner-up competing for the accolade, which is presented yearly to the top defenseman in the NHL. Victor Hedman, Roman Josi, and Cale Makar are the potential candidates that have been named. An announcement regarding who won the title will be made tomorrow.
It is tough to choose the best, especially with all of them posing astonishing statistics. The decision is harder because the players have a history of being the best on the list, almost always.
Victor Hedman from the Tampa Bay Lightning has been consistent this season. Others could have better numbers, but Victor Hedman is the one who continues to raise the level of the game despite being 31 years old.
His stats for the current season stand at 85 points, 20 goals, and 65 assists. He has previously entered the list of finalists five times and has taken the trophy home once in 2017-2018. It is his sixth time, with optimism running high in everyone’s mind.
Roman Josi from the Nashville Predators has numbers that speak for themselves. He last won the trophy in 2019-2020 and is an ideal candidate to win this year. His stats are 96 points, 23 goals, and 73 assists.
Points scored by Roman Josi are 10 more than Cale Makar. These are also the best in 29 years since Phil Housley scored 97 points, 18 goals, and 79 assists in 1992-1993 for the Winnipeg Jets. Roman Josi is a favorite to win the trophy this year as he had 10 fewer points in 2019-2020 when he went home with the trophy.
Not everyone has been able to reach that level. Those who did include:-
- Paul Coffey
- Ray Bourque
- Brian Leetch
- Denis Potvin
- Bobby Orr
- Al Maclnnis
The race still has another candidate waiting to make it his first-ever catch this season. Cale Makar came close to holding the trophy last season before losing to Adam Fox from the New York Rangers. Cale Makar making the win would be the first for a Colorado Avalanche player.
He came to light after his team eliminated the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final. Wayne Gretzky quickly announced support for him, saying that Cale Makar was good with the skill and composure of the young defenseman.
Cale Makar is 23 years old but has good stats to make him the best. He leads all NHL defensemen with 28 goals, making him the fifth defenseman in the past 30 years to reach that total.
Players to achieve that feat before he is:-
- Brent Burns with 29 goals in 2016-2017;
- Mike Green with 31 goals in 2008-2009;
- Al Maclnnis with 28 goals in 1993-1994; and,
- Kevin Hatcher with 34 goals in 1992-1993.
He is second in terms of points when scaled against Roman Josi. The announcement would be at the 2022 NHL Awards in Tampa, with a broadcast available at 7 pm ET on ESPN scheduled for Tuesday.