Colorado Avalanche defender Cale Makar has been named one of the three finalists for the 2021 Norris Trophy. He is joined by Adam Fox of the New York Rangers and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. This is the fifth year in a row that Hedman has been a finalist - he won the award back in 2018.
Fox and Makar are both first time finalists and along with guys like Jacob Chychrun, Miro Heiskanen and Charlie McAvoy, they represent a changing of the guard in the NHL.
The Norris Trophy is given out annually to the defenseman “who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
Last year, the award was given to Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators.
Makar finished the season as the only defender in the NHL to average a point per game this season, putting up eight goals and 44 assist. Despite missing a month of the season, Makar was able to finish fifth in overall scoring by a defenseman.
Almost as impressive as his play on the offensive side of the puck was how well Makar performed on the other side of the puck. The 22-year old took a big step defensively this season - something that has helped him develop into one of the best all-around defenders in the NHL.
He likely won’t win this season - only because voters seem to be punishing him for missing 12 games in a 56 game season - but his time will come as this this is the first of what will be many Norris nominations to come.