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Your James Norris Memorial Trophy Finalists

NEW YORK (June 9, 2021) – Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2020-21 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 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone will be revealed during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.

Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:

Adam Fox, New York Rangers

Playing in his second NHL season, Fox ranked among the top defensemen in assists (1st; 42), points (2nd; 47), power-play assists (2nd; 21), takeaways (3rd; 38) and power-play points (3rd; 23) across 55 contests. Fox, who also placed seventh among all skaters in total time on ice (1,358:51) while recording a +19 rating, accumulated nearly half of his points during a 12-game streak from March 17 – April 8 (3-19—22), the fourth-longest by any player in 2020-21 and second-longest by a blueliner behind only Dougie Hamilton (14 GP w/ CAR). The 23-year-old Jericho, N.Y., native is the Rangers’ first Norris Trophy finalist since 1996-97, when Brian Leetch won the award for the second time (also 1991-92 w/ NYR), and is seeking to become the fourth player in franchise history to capture the trophy, after Leetch, Harry Howell (1966-67) and Doug Harvey (1961-62).

 

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning

Hedman placed among the leading defensemen in points (3rd; 45), assists (t-5th; 36) and goals (t-7th; 9) through 54 appearances (0.83 P/GP), matching the second-best points-per-game rate of his 12-season NHL career (behind only 2016-17: 0.91 P/GP). Hedman, who also ranked second among all skaters (forwards and defensemen) in power-play assists (23) and sixth in power-play points (24), finished seventh in the entire NHL in average time on ice (25:03) – the second-highest rate of his career after 2017-18 (25:51). The 30-year-old Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native – who won the Norris Trophy in 2017-18 and placed third in voting in 2016-17, 2018-19 and 2019-20 – is a finalist for the fifth consecutive season, a streak last achieved by fellow countryman Nicklas Lidstrom from 1997-98 through 2002-03 (6 straight seasons).

 

Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

Makar, the reigning Calder Memorial Trophy winner, ranked sixth among defensemen with 8-36—44 (44 GP) despite missing 12 of Colorado’s 56 contests (21.4%). His average of 1.00 points per game topped all blueliners in 2020-21 and marked the second time in Avalanche/Nordiques history a defenseman has produced at such a rate, after Steve Duchesne in 1992-93 (20-62—82 in 82 GP w/ QUE). The 22-year-old Calgary native 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). He and Fox each are seeking to become the second defenseman in League history to take home the award in his second NHL season (or earlier), after Bobby Orr accomplished the feat in 1967-68 (2nd NHL season w/ BOS).

 

History

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.

 

Announcement Schedule

The three finalists for the 2021 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone are being announced through Friday, June 11. The series of announcements continues Thursday, June 10, when the three finalists for the Hart Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

ilovehomers's avatar

I would still love an award for the best offensive defenseman. The question being is who you’d name it after.

Maybe Orr, but would that besmirch his defensive ability in anyway? Was he any good defensively?

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/09/21 at 11:42 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

As suspected, Cale Makar was a point per game player. However, 55 seconds of shorthanded time per game, with just 16.8% of his time coming shorthanded.  62.6% of his ES shifts started in the offensive zone.That’s not a Norris candidate to me.

Hedman was at 2:23 per game with 45% of his minutes shorthanded, 59.7% O zone start.

Fox: 2:36 & 51.5% of his minutes shorthanded, just 49.4% of his ES shifts started in the o-zone.

I will forgive Fox’s sub-50% corsi considering his team (note the lack of vezina goalie behind him, unlike the other two), and his zone starts. He has 102 blocks (most of all three) and was a +2 in takes/giveaways.

Adam Fox should win this.

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/09/21 at 12:04 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Adam Fox should win this.

Posted by ilovehomers on 06/09/21 at 12:04 PM ET

Same.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 06/09/21 at 01:58 PM ET

d ca's avatar

Victor Hedman (2009 R1 2nd—no chance to get. Detroit traded down out of the 29th pick and got Landon Ferraro)
Adam Fox (2016 R3 66th—-Detroit chose Hronek and Smith with their 2nd round picks)
Cale Makar (2017 R1 4th—no chance to get. Detroit chose Michael Rasmussen with the 9th overall)

There are d-men in the upcoming draft that are just as well regarded. I hope Detroit doesn’t skip over them because they need forward scoring help.

Posted by d ca on 06/09/21 at 02:07 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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