LAS VEGAS - The NHL announced today that San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) defenseman Brent Burns (@Burnzie88) has won the 2017 James Norris Memorial Trophy, presented annually to the defenseman who demonstrates the greatest all-round ability in the position throughout the season.
Burns edged out other finalists Erik Karlsson and Victor Hedman for the trophy. The winner was selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season.
This is the first Norris Trophy of Burns' career and the first for an active Sharks player. Burns, who was also a finalist for the Norris Trophy last season, previously won the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2015, which is presented to the player "who applies the core values of hockey-commitment, perseverance and teamwork-to enrich the lives of people in his community." In addition, Burns was nominated this season as a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award, presented to the "most outstanding player" in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players' Association.
Video: Brent Burns is presented the Norris Trophy
Amongst defensemen, Burns led the NHL in points and goals this season, and was tied for 3rd in assists. He became the first NHL defenseman since Brian Leetch (1995-96/96-97) to post back-to-back 75-points seasons. Burns led the Sharks in assists and points, and finished tied for the team lead in goals. Overall, he ranked 9th in the NHL in points, and T-12th in assists.
Burns posted 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) and a plus-19 rating in 82 games. His 29 goals are a Sharks franchise record for a defenseman in a single season, and ranks as the 18th highest single season total by a defenseman in NHL history. In addition, his 76 points broke the Sharks franchise record for most points by a blueliner in a single season (set by him last year).
Burns was also named the Sharks Foundation "Sharks Player of the Year" this season. The defender was named to his third NHL All-Star game this season, and helped Team Canada win the 2016 World Cup of Hockey prior to the 2016-17 NHL regular season.
The six-foot-five, 230-pound native of Barrie, Ontario was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round (20th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft. He was acquired by San Jose from Minnesota on June 24, 2011.
The Norris Trophy is named in honor of James E. Norris, owner of the Detroit Red Wings from 1932 to 1952. The trophy was first awarded at the conclusion of the 1953-54 NHL season.
Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson was the recipient of the Norris Trophy in 1982.