Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2021-22 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. Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators were also named as finalists.
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 winners of the 2022 NHL Awards will be revealed during the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final, with exact dates, format and times to be announced.
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Makar helped the Avalanche (56-19-7) post a franchise-record 119 points by leading NHL defensemen with 28 goals, becoming just the fifth defenseman in the past 30 years to reach that total (Brent Burns, 29 in 2016-17; Mike Green, 31 in 2008-09; Al MacInnis, 28 in 1993-94; and Kevin Hatcher, 34 in 1992-93). He ranked second among blueliners in points (28-58--86) -- the goal and point totals setting franchise marks for defensemen -- and ranked fifth among all NHLers in plus-minus (+48). Makar is a Norris finalist for the second consecutive season and is the fourth defenseman to be voted a finalist for an NHL Award in each of his first three seasons, having won the Calder Trophy in his rookie campaign of 2019-20. He is vying to become the first Norris Trophy winner in franchise history, following top-three finishes by Rob Blake (3rd in 2001-02), Ray Bourque (2nd in 2000-01) and Sandis Ozolinsh (3rd in 1996-97).
Did You Know
The Norris finalists all eclipsed 80 points in 2021-22, marking the first time in 28 years that as many as three blueliners surpassed the milestone in a single season. The 1993-94 campaign saw future Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (91), Sergei Zubov (89) and Al MacInnis (82) do so.
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 2022 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 20. The series of announcements continues Tuesday, May 10, when the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy will be unveiled.