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Roman Josi Deserves to Win the Norris Trophy - Here's Why

Predators Captain Deserves Recognition as NHL's Best Defenseman in 2019-20

by Brooks Bratten @brooksbratten / Senior Communications & Content Coordinator

It's simple, really.

Roman Josi deserves to win the James Norris Memorial Trophy, an honor annually bestowed upon, "the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position."

Translation: He has to be really good at his job, and there was no better NHL defenseman in 2019-20 than the Predators captain.

Sure, I'll concede you wouldn't expect anything less to be published on the official website of the team Josi leads. But, allow me to make a case. We all believe it to be rather convincing.

Perhaps the easiest place to start is by taking a gander at the stat line for No. 59.

Although the 2019-20 campaign was shortened, Josi's numbers are still outstanding. He was one of just two Preds to dress for all 69 of Nashville's games, and over that span, he recorded 16 goals, 49 assists and 65 points, all career highs. His totals for points and helpers both set franchise records in a single season - again, one that was shortened - by a defenseman.

Josi was the only League blueliner to record at least 15 goals, 45 assists, 60 points, a plus-20 rating and 25 minutes of average ice time over the past season.

Oh, and remember that point streak?

The 30-year-old posted points in 12 consecutive games from Dec. 16 through Jan. 9, a period that saw him tally seven goals and 20 points. For almost a month's time, Josi eventually turned it into a franchise-record point streak for a defenseman and the second-longest overall point streak in Predators history.

The mark was also the longest point streak by an NHL defenseman since Shayne Gostisbehere's 15-game run in 2015-16, and Josi became one of eight NHL blueliners in the past 20 years to record a point streak of at least 10 games.

And those seven goals accumulated at the start of the streak? They came in just five games, the longest goal streak by an NHL defenseman in the last decade since Mike Green posted an eight-game streak back in 2009.

Josi ranked second among all NHL defensemen in points and assists, tied for second in goals, was third in average time on ice and finished first in shots with 260.

That's a look at the point totals for the naked eye. Now, let's delve a bit deeper into the ice.

Josi's 65 points accounted for 11.6 percent of his team's overall points output, and he posted 39.4 percent of Nashville's points by defensemen. Both are the second-highest totals in the NHL this season.

The native of Switzerland was one of just two NHL defensemen to lead his team in both points and assists over the past 10 months, and he recorded four, two-goal games this season, the most among NHL blueliners.

Want to get analytical?

No NHL defenseman was as dominant possessing the puck as Josi was in the 2019-20 season. According to The Point Hockey, Josi led all blueliners in the following stats per game: zone exits, 8.4; zone entries, 5.4; offensive-zone puck-possession time, 0:55.

Among all skaters - not just defensemen - Josi was second in puck possession per game at 2:32 and had 149 end-to-end rushes, the fifth-most in the NHL. Josi also had a shot-attempts percentage of 53.3 percent, a higher tally than two of the previous five Norris Trophy winners.

To see Josi do these things on television is one thing, but to have the privilege of witnessing his skillset in person on a nightly basis brings an entirely different appreciation of just how valuable he is to the Predators.

Without Josi, the Preds may not have been included in the NHL's 24-team Return To Play Plan format. Instead, they're the high seed in what will be a best-of-5 meeting with the Arizona Coyotes later this summer.

That's thanks in large part to the contributions of the captain.

Josi has been in the Norris Trophy conversation before, but he deserves much more than a mention this time around. The time has come to overtake the discussion completely.

See? It's simple really.

Josi is the best in the entire world at what he does, and that deserves an award.

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