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Karlsson receives Norris nomination

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

Sens captain Erik Karlsson was named one of the finalists for the 2015 Norris Trophy by the NHL (along with Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings and P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens) and below we take a look at 7 reasons why.

NHL.com is on board with the nomination as well after Karlsson finished the regular season leading all defensemen in points (66), powerplay points (30) and shots (292) and they recently published a feature entitled Senators' Karlsson deserves second Norris Trophy where they positioned EK65 as their favourite to win the award...

Critics of Karlsson lament his perceived defensive deficiencies, but the percentage of scoring chances when Karlsson was on the ice at even strength was higher for the Senators than it was for the Kings with Doughty, the Chicago Blackhawks with Duncan Keith and the Montreal Canadiens with P.K. Subban.

All of these are team-based metrics, of which an elite defenseman like Karlsson provides plenty of influence. His individual numbers are extraordinary.

Karlsson had 292 shots on goal, 28 more than any other defenseman and WAR on Ice credited him with 128 individual scoring chances, 24 more than the others at his position.

Karlsson has the most points, which always rates highly with Norris voters, and he was very productive during the second half of the season when Ottawa made its incredible playoff push. Those are two reasons why he might win the award, but there is more on his resume to support a second Norris Trophy than just most points and a strong finish.

Need specific reasons why Karlsson was nominated? Here's 7 accompanied by video evidence to support them...

1. His defense

Karlsson's defensive prowess is often overlooked and that's probably because he spends so much time in the offensive zone putting up points. The fact is, Karlsson is no slouch at the other end of the ice either.

Here he is hustling back to track down Max Pacioretty...


2. His speed

We just showcased Karlsson's speed as it pertains to his defensive play. Well, it's just as big of a weapon on offense as well. Below, you'll see Karlsson sprint from one end of the ice to the other to bury a shorthanded goal.

"BUT KARLSSON DOESN'T KILL PENALTIES!!1!!1!" - someone who's always wrong


3. His physicality

Karlsson may not look like your typical, big bruising defenseman but don't let that fool you. He's very good at picking his spots and laying people out...


4. His shot

It was mentioned earlier that Karlsson lead all defensemen in shots but he also finished 2nd in goals at his position this year. With a cannon like this it's easy to understand why...


5. His passing

Not only was Karlsson 2nd in goals this season but he finished second in assists among defensemen as well...


6. He's clutch

When the Sens were down by one, Karlsson was on the ice. When the Sens were protecting a lead, Karlsson was on the ice. He finished 3rd in TOI/game for defensemen this season and that's because he gets it done in all situations...


7. His goaltending

Yeah...that's right...he can play goalie too. Vezina trophy watch out...


The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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