Selected in the second round (No. 38) by the Nashville Predators in the 2008 NHL Draft, Josi made an impact at a young age.
He was one of four 17-year-olds to play in Switzerland's top division in 2007-08 (for SC Bern) and represented Switzerland at the IIHF World Junior Championship and the IIHF Under-18 World Championship in 2007 and 2008. Josi tied for the team lead in points (five) at the 2008 Under-18 World Championship.
Josi led all Swiss junior-aged players in goals (seven), assists (17) and points (24) as SC Bern won the Swiss League title in 2008-09. He was named top defenseman at the 2009 IIHF Division I World Junior Championship, which Switzerland won. Josi tied for first among defensemen in goals (three) and ranked second among defensemen in points (four) at the tournament. He was youngest player on the Swiss roster, and the third-youngest player overall, at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.
Josi helped SC Bern to the regular-season and playoff titles in the Swiss League in 2009-10 and scored six postseason goals, tops among defensemen. He played for Switzerland at the 2010 World Junior Championship and World Championship and was named to Switzerland's team for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, though he was unable to play because of injury.
Josi had 40 points during his rookie season in North America with Milwaukee of the American Hockey League in 2010-11 and led the team with 25 power-play points. He made his NHL debut for Nashville on Nov. 11, 2011, against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena and scored his first NHL goal Dec. 10, 2011, against the Anaheim Ducks. Josi finished fourth among NHL rookies with 98 blocked shots.
In 2012-13, Josi appeared in all 48 games of the lockout-shortened season and tied for third on the Predators with 13 assists. At the 2013 World Championship, Josi led all defensemen in goals (four) and points (nine) and was the first Swiss player to be named the most valuable player, best defenseman and a tournament all-star as Switzerland won the silver medal.
In 2013-14, Josi was fifth in the NHL in average time on ice (26:25). The next season he had 15 goals and 55 points and finished fifth in Norris Trophy voting. Josi also was second in the NHL in blocked shots (209) and fourth in average ice time (26:28).
In 2015-16 he played in his first NHL All-Star Game, on his home ice in Nashville, and finished with 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists). The Predators named Josi captain on Sept. 19, 2017. He had 49 points (12 goals, 37 assists) in 72 games during his first season as captain, then helped the Predators advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since entering the NHL in 1998 with 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 22 games.
Josi had another excellent season in 2017-18, finishing with 53 points (14 goals, 39 assists) in 75 games, helping Nashville win the Presidents' Trophy as the NHL's top regular-season team, and continues as one of the NHL's top offensive defensemen. He was voted winner of the 2020 Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL after scoring 65 points (16 goals, 49 assists) in 69 games.
Josi led defensemen in scoring in 2021-22 with an NHL career-high 96 points (23 goals, 73 assists) while getting his 400th NHL assist to help the Predators clinch a berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the eighth straight season and 15th time in their history. He became the first defenseman with at least 90 points in one season since Ray Bourque (91) in 1993-94.
NOTES & TRANSACTIONS
- NHL First All-Star Team (2020, 2022)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game (2016, 2019, 2020, 2022)
- Signed as a free agent by Bern (Swiss), September 20, 2012.