Cale Makar has been named a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the first time in his young career.
This is, presumably, the first of many times we’ll see Makar as a nominee/finalist for the award.
The James Norris trophy is “given annually to the defenseman voted to have demonstrated throughout the season the greatest all-around ability at the position.”
Also among the field of finalists are Tampa Bay Lightning D-man Victor Hedman, who has been named a finalist for the fifth consecutive year. He won the award in 2017-18 and has finished third in voting in each of the last two seasons. The 30-year-old defenseman also won the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 2020 NHL Playoffs in the Edmonton bubble last year.
Hedman tied for third in scoring with 45 points in 54 games and led all defensemen with 24 power-play points. Hedman also led the Lightning in in ice time, power-play time and was third in short-handed ice time. He helped Tampa Bay finish sixth in goals against per game and fourth on the PK.
New York Rangers D-man Adam Fox is also among the three-player group of Norris finalists. Like Makar, it is his first finalist nomination as well.
Fox, who was a serious contender for the Calder Trophy with Cale Makar last season (but ultimately finished fourth), finished second among NHL D-men with 47 points in 55 games this year. He led the Rangers in ice time per game and was first in power-play ice time, too.
Cale Makar averaged a NHL’s best point-per-game average this season among defensemen, finishing with 44 in 44 games. He also tied for the D-man league lead with three game-winning goals. Makar finished with the team lead in takeaways (32, T-Mikko Rantanen).
Should Makar take the Norris home, he’d be the first defenseman in club history to win it.