The NHL announced the three finalists for the Norris Trophy on Thursday, awarded “to the defenceman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
This year’s finalists are Los Angeles’s Drew Doughty, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman and Nashville’s P.K. Subban.
The Norris Trophy winner in 2016, Doughty is a finalist for the fourth time in his career after a season in which he led all players in average ice time per game at 26:50 to anchor the blue line for a Kings team that allowed the fewest goals against. Doughty also had a career year on offence, scoring 60 points in 82 games to become the first Kings defenceman to hit that mark since Lubomir Visnovsky in 2005-06. For the fourth straight season, Doughty played every regular season game for the Kings and hit a few career milestones: 100 goals, 300 assists and 400 points.
After a very successful season as a team, the Tampa Bay Lightning could also have their first-ever Norris Trophy winner if Hedman takes home the award. A finalist for the second consecutive season, the 27-year-old Hedman tied for the lead among all defencemen with 17 goals and was fifth at the position in points with 63. Hedman averaged a career-best 25:51 of ice time per game, which was the fifth-highest mark in the league.
Subban led the highest-scoring blue line this season with a career-high 16 goals and 59 points, which were the eighth-most at the defence position. Subban’s total time on ice of 1,977:24 was the 11th-highest mark in the league as he played all 82 games for the third time in his career. The 28-year-old is a Norris Trophy finalist for the third time in his career, and he previously won the award in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season with Montreal. Subban now has a chance to be the first-ever Predator to win the award.
The Norris Trophy is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
All award winners will be announced on June 20 at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.