Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, Erik Karlsson named Norris Trophy finalists

The Senators blue liner lists some of the reasons why Erik Karlsson should be recognized as the best defenceman in the league.

The NHL announced the three finalists for the Norris Trophy Friday, awarded to the defenceman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.

This year’s finalists are: San Jose’s Brent Burns, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman, and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson.

Burns led all blue liners in scoring with 29 goals and 76 points and became the first defenceman to post consecutive 75-point seasons since Brian Leetch in 1995-96 and 1996-97. Burns was a finalist for the Norris Trophy for the first time ever last season and finished third in voting.

Hedman set a personal best with 16 goals and 72 points this season, finishing second among all blueliners in scoring. This is the first time he’s been a Norris Trophy finalist in his career.

Karlsson, a two-time winner of the Norris Trophy, is a finalist for the fourth time in the past six seasons. He finished third among all blueliners in scoring and led his team with 71 points, becoming just the second defenceman in NHL history to lead his team in scoring four years in a row. Karlsson finished second in Norris Trophy voting last season.

The award winners will be revealed on June 21 in Las Vegas.

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