Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators has won his first James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded to the defenseman demonstrating "the greatest all-around ability in the position," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The 22-year-old native of Landsbro, Sweden, is the youngest Norris Trophy recipient since Bobby Orr, who captured the first of his eight consecutive Norris titles with the Boston Bruins at the age of 20 in 1968.
Karlsson edged Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators 1,069 to 1,057 in the second consecutive cliffhanger Norris vote. In 2010-11, Weber was nosed out by Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom, 736-727, in the closest race for first place since 1996. Weber's teammate, Ryan Suter, placed eighth in the Norris voting, the only two teammates to both finish in the top-10 of the voting.
Weber tied for first among league defensemen with 19 goals, while adding 30 assists and a +21 plus/minus rating. Weber averaged 26:09 of ice time per game, the fifth highest total this season. Suter posted seven goals and 46 points with a +15 plus/minus rating, while averaging 26:30 per game (third most in the league).
2011-2012 Norris Trophy Voting
Pts. ( 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)
1. Erik Karlsson, OTT 1,069 (66-31-32-9-5)
2. Shea Weber, NSH 1,057 (49-54-32-9-2)
3. Zdeno Chara, BOS 950 (32-48-47-19-2)
4. Alex Pietrangelo, STL 381 (0-7-20-68-28)
5. Nicklas Lidstrom, DET 132 (0-5-4-16-29)
6. Dan Girardi, NYR 70 (2-0-4-6-12)
7. Brian Campbell, FLA 58 (0-2-2-6-16)
8. Ryan Suter, NSH 57 (0-1-3-5-20)
9. Kris Letang, PIT 40 (0-0-4-3-11)
10. Dan Hamhuis, VAN 21 (0-1-0-3-5)