The 2021-22 NHL season saw scoring hit new highs and even though the Norris Trophy is intended to award defence, all three finalists made their mark with historic offensive campaigns.
Tampa Bay Lightning veteran Victor Hedman, Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi and Colorado Avalanche star Cale Makar were named finalists for the annual award given “to the defence player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
Hedman won the Norris in 2017-18 and is a finalist for the sixth-straight season. The 31-year-old scored 20 goals and 85 points this season, both career-highs in his 13th campaign. He averaged more than two minutes on both special teams and more than 25 minutes of total ice time per game, while finishing ninth amongst all defencemen with 52 takeaways.
Josi, who won the award in 2019-20, had 96 points this season — the most by a defenceman in 29 years and 31 points higher than his previous career-high. His 73 assists were fifth among all skaters and his 23 goals were second among defencemen. The 31-year-old finished fourth in total ice time with more than 2,044 minutes skated this season and his 25:33 minutes per game were eighth among all defencemen.
Makar was runner up for the Norris last season, his second year in the league. The 23-year-old took a big step this season, scoring 86 points — including 28 goals, the most by a defenceman since Brent Burns had 29 in 2016-17. His season included an impressive 19 even-strength goals, a plus-48 rating and more than 2:40 ice time per game on both special teams.