Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi, Washington Capitals standout John Carlson and Tampa Bay Lightning stalwart Victor Hedman were named the finalists for the Norris Trophy as top defenceman in the NHL
The announcement was made Monday during the Hockey Central broadcast, along with the Selke Trophy finalists.
This is the first time Josi and Carlson have been named finalists, while Hedman earned the honour in 2018.
Josi has finished top-11 in Norris votes in each of the past five seasons and has been one of the most consistent defencemen of his era. The 30-year-old Bern, Switzerland native had 16 goals and 49 assists through 69 games this season. His 260 shots on goal were the most among blueliners and his 25:47 of ice-time per game ranked third in the league.
Carlson led all NHL defencemen with 75 points in 69 games played, setting a new career high for points and tying his previous career-best of 15 goals. In fact, Carlson’s 75 points were the most on his team – ahead of even Alex Ovechkin – and ranked 12th overall in the NHL. The 30-year-old American has finished top-five in Norris voting in each of the past two seasons.
His 1.09 points per game were the highest total from any defenceman since the 1993-94 season.
Carlson and Josi had been considered Norris frontrunners for most of the 2019-20 season prior to the shutdown, but Hedman was his usual dominant self.
Hedman has been an annual finalist since the 2016-17 campaign and beat out Drew Doughty and P.K. Subban for the award in 2018, joining Nicklas Lidstrom and Erik Karlsson as the only Swedish players to win the trophy. He is the first defenceman since Lidstrom to be named a Norris finalist in four consecutive seasons. His 55 points through 66 games this season was third behind Carlson and Josi.