Thursday afternoon, the NHL announced the finalists for the Norris Trophy, the award given to the best defenseman in the league. The Capitals’ John Carlson, the league leader in points from the blue line, was not included.
Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman, and Nashville’s PK Subban were the three defensemen named finalists by the league.
Folks, please turn your attention to the 2017-18 Norris Trophy Finalists.
— NHL (@NHL) April 19, 2018
Carlson, who finished with 15 goals and 53 assists on the season, was squarely in the middle of Norris talk all season. However, even with sterling boxcar stats, Carlson struggled defensively at times.
During the 2018 playoffs, though, Carlson has turned his game up a notch, posting 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists) in the first three games of the Capitals series against the Blue Jackets.
Hedman led the league with 17 goals, while Subban was right behind him with 16. Doughty notched 60 points as he led the NHL in average ice time with 26:50.
From the NHL:
NEW YORK (April 19, 2018) – Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2017-18 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 winner will be announced Wednesday, June 20, during the 2018 NHL Awards™ presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Doughty paced the NHL in total time on ice (2,200:31) and average time on ice (26:50) while anchoring a Los Angeles defense that allowed a League-low 203 goals. He also set a career high and ranked seventh among NHL defensemen with 10-50—60, becoming the first Kings blueliner to collect 60 points since 2005-06 (Lubomir Visnovsky: 17-50—67). Doughty – who appeared in all 82 games for the fourth straight season – reached a trio of career milestones, picking up his 100th goal Jan. 30 and 300th assist and 400th point Feb. 7 (102-320—422 in 770 GP). Only one defenseman has registered more goals, assists or points for Los Angeles: Rob Blake (161‑333—494 in 805 GP). The 28-year-old London, Ont., native is a Norris Trophy finalist for the fourth time after winning the award in 2015-16, finishing second in voting in 2014-15 and placing third in 2009-10.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman shared first place among NHL defensemen with a career-high 17 goals, tied for the second-most in one season by a Lightning blueliner (behind Dan Boyle: 20 in 2006-07). He also ranked fifth among League defensemen with 63 points, becoming the first blueliner in team history to top 60 points in multiple campaigns (16‑56—72 in 2016-17). Hedman established a career high with a +32 rating, ranking sixth in the League and second among defensemen, and also set personal bests in time on ice per game (25:51) and total time on ice (1,990:30), placing fifth and ninth overall, respectively. The 27-year-old Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native is a Norris Trophy finalist for the second straight season after finishing third in voting in 2016-17. He is vying to become the first player in Tampa Bay history to win the award.
P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators
Subban powered a Predators defense that led the NHL in goals (56) and points (206) in 2017-18. He set a career high and shared fourth place among League blueliners with 16 goals. Subban also ranked eighth among NHL defensemen with 59 points, one shy of his personal best established in 2014-15 (15-45—60 w/ MTL). The 28-year-old Toronto, Ont., native – who collected 11-19—30 in 31 outings from Dec. 13 – Feb. 22 – played in all 82 games for the third time in his career (also 2013-14 and 2014-15), placing 11th in the League in total time on ice (1,977:24) while registering a +18 rating. Subban is seeking his second career Norris Trophy following his win in 2012-13 (w/ MTL). A finalist for the third time, he also is aiming to become the first player in Nashville history to capture the award.
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