Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson can win the James Norris Memorial Trophy for a second straight season and third time in his NHL career.
Karlsson, Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings were named finalists Friday. The winner will be announced at the 2016 NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 22.
The trophy is awarded to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability at the position.
Karlsson established a Senators single-season record for assists (66) and points (82) by a defenseman, leading the NHL in assists and ranking first among defensemen in points for a third straight season and fourth time in the past five seasons. He drove puck possession with a 51.47 Corsi-for percentage in 5-on-5 situations. His Corsi relative percentage of 7.2 was fourth-best among NHL defensemen, and meant the Senators attempted 7 percent more shots with Karlsson on the ice compared to his teammates.
Karlsson is the first NHL defenseman to score at least 82 in a season since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (85 points) and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins (82 points) in 1995-96. Karlsson played all 82 regular-season games for a third straight season and led the NHL in ice time (2,375:55), even-strength ice time (1,885:26), and average ice time (28:58), all NHL career highs.
Burns, a first-time Norris Trophy finalist, set Sharks records for defensemen in goals (27), assists (48) and points (75). He also established a Sharks record with 353 shots on goal. Burns played in all 82 games for a second straight season and led San Jose with an NHL career-high 25:51 in ice time. The Sharks took 189 more shots than they allowed with Burns on the ice at 5-on-5.
Doughty, who drove puck possession with a League-leading 58.89 Corsi-for percentage in 5-on-5 situations, ranked third in the League in average ice time (28:01) to help lead the Kings to a third consecutive top-five finish in team defense with a 2.34 goals-against average. His 14 goals and 51 points were his most since the 2009-10 season (16 goals, 59 points), and his plus-24 rating was an NHL career high. The Kings took 537 more shots than they allowed with Doughty on the ice at 5-on-5. Doughty, a three-time finalist, was third in voting in 2009-10 and second in 2014-15.