The NHL has announced the three finalists for another of the major end-of-season awards. The Selke Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, and Calder Trophy finalists have been announced previously and now we have the Norris Trophy nominees.
The Norris Trophy is awarded annually to the best all-around defenseman in the league.
New York’s Adam Fox, San Jose’s Erik Karlsson, and Colorado’s Cale Makar are all up for the 2023 trophy.
All three men have previously won the trophy, with Karlsson having two previous wins (2012, 2015).
Here’s a closer look at how all three players fared this season:
The NHL will continue announcing finalists throughout the week. See all the players up for awards here.
The NHL’s full press release is below:
Fox, Karlsson and Makar Voted Norris Trophy Finalists
NEW YORK (May 4, 2023) – Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2022-23 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 revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26 (8 p.m. ET, TNT, SN, TVAS).
Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Adam Fox, New York Rangers
Fox finished eighth among defensemen with 12-60—72 in 82 games to guide New York to 107 standings points, the seventh-most in the team’s 96-year history. He became the second Rangers blueliner to register consecutive 70-point seasons, following Brian Leetch (2x, most recently 1995-96 and 1996-97), as well as the second-fastest defenseman in franchise history, behind Leetch (211 GP), to accumulate 200 career points (241 GP on Jan. 1 at FLA). The 25-year-old Fox also placed among the leading 2022-23 blueliners in takeaways (t-1st; 88), power-play assists (4th; 28), assists (t-4th; 60), game-winning goals (t-4th; 5), power-play points (7th; 29), total time on ice (7th; 1,998:58), plus/minus (t-11th; +28), average time on ice (13th; 24:23), shooting percentage (15th; 7.5%) and goals (t-17th; 12). Fox, who in 2020-21 became the second defenseman in League history – after Bobby Orr (1967-68 w/ BOS) – to win the Norris Trophy within his first two NHL campaigns, is seeking to again follow Orr (3x) as the second player to capture the award multiple times within his first four seasons.
Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks
Karlsson, the sixth different defenseman in NHL history and first since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 (w/ NYR) to record a 100-point season, topped blueliners with 25-76—101 across 82 games. He became the eighth different player in the League’s expansion era (since 1967-68) to outright lead defensemen in goals, assists and points within a single campaign, a feat last achieved by Mike Green in 2009-10 (w/ WSH). Karlsson also set an NHL record for blueliners by factoring on 43.35 percent of San Jose’s total goals (101 of 233, excluding shootout-deciding goals), eclipsing Bobby Orr in 1969-70 (43.32% w/ BOS). The 32-year-old Karlsson, who previously won the Norris Trophy twice with the Ottawa Senators (2011-12 and 2014-15), is vying to become the fourth defenseman to take home the award with multiple teams, following Chris Chelios (CHI and MTL), Paul Coffey (DET and EDM) and Doug Harvey (MTL and NYR). He also is looking to become the second player to go eight-plus years between Norris Trophy wins, a feat previously achieved by Coffey (9 years, 1985-86 w/ EDM and 1994-95 w/ DET).
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Makar, the reigning Norris Trophy winner, ranked second among defensemen with 1.10 points per game, totaling 17-49—66 in 60 appearances. He became the first player in Avalanche history to pace the League in average time on ice (26:23), also finishing among the top blueliners in game-winning goals (t-2nd; 6), overtime goals (t-2nd; 2), goals (6th; 17), power-play points (6th; 30), power-play goals (t-6th; 5), points (9th; 66), assists (11th; 49) and takeaways (t-15th; 50). Makar became the quickest defenseman in NHL history to reach the 200-point milestone, doing so in his 195th contest (Nov. 21 at DAL), and ended the season with 65-181—246 overall – the most points by any blueliner through his first 238 career games. The 24-year-old Makar, who like Fox is seeking his second Norris Trophy in his fourth NHL season, is a finalist for the third straight year after placing second in voting in 2020-21. Only three other players in League history have been a Norris Trophy finalist at least three times in their first four campaigns: Bobby Orr (4x), Brad Park (3x) and Denis Potvin (3x).
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.
The three finalists for the 2023 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 12. The series of announcements continues Friday, May 5, when the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award will be unveiled.
Headline photo: NHL PR
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