John Carlson of the Capitals, Roman Josi of the Predators, and Victor Hedman of the Lightning have been voted finalists for the 2019-20 Norris Trophy. The award is given to league’s top defenseman “who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
The Norris Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.
The winner will be announced during the conference finals.
The case for John Carlson: He led all defensemen in scoring with 15 goals and 75 points. Those 75 points are the fifth-highest total at the position in the last decade. Carlson only played 69 games due to the NHL pause, and his 1.09 points per game is the best by a blue liner since Ray Bourque (1.26) and Sergei Zubov (1.14) were productive in 1993-94. The Capitals’ vet was a plus possession player (51% Corsi), had an expected goals against per 60 of 2.7. This is his first time as a finalist and he’s looking to become the franchise’s first winner since Rod Langway’s back-to-back victories in 1982-83 and 1983-84.
The case for Victor Hedman: The Lightning defenseman was third in scoring among defenseman with 55 points in 66 games. He averaged 24:04 of ice time per night, posted a 2.14 expected goals against per 60, and his 54% Corsi was in the top 10 for blue liners, per Evolving Hockey. This is Hedman’s fourth straight season as a Norris finalist; he won the award in 2017-18.
The case for Roman Josi: Josi (65 points) finished behind Carlson in scoring among defensemen and, like the Capitals blue liner, led his team in points. His impact on the Predators was noticeable. When he was on the ice, the team had nearly a 20% better chance to score compared to league average versus less than 1% when he was off, per HockeyViz. He posted a 53% Corsi rating and a 53% expected goals for percentage, per Evolving Hockey. This is his first time as a finalist for the award and would be the first winner in franchise history.
NHL AWARD FINALISTS
• Ted Lindsay Award: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin
• Calder Trophy: Quinn Hughes, Cale Makar, Dominik Kubalik
• Jack Adams Award: Bruce Cassidy, John Tortorella, Alain Vigneault
• Masterton Trophy: Stephen Johns, Oskar Lindblom, Bobby Ryan
• Lady Byng Trophy: Nathan MacKinnon, Auston Matthews, Ryan O’Reilly
• Vezina Trophy: Connor Hellebuyck, Tuukka Rask, Andrei Vasilevskiy
• Selke Trophy: Patrice Bergeron, Sean Couturier, Ryan O'Reilly
• Hart Trophy: Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, Artemi Panarin