It was announced tonight at the NHL Awards Ceremony that Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar has won the James Norris Memorial Trophy for best defenseman in the NHL. He beat out other superstar defensemen he’s faced this postseason such as Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
It was an incredibly tight vote between the three finalists. Makar beat out Josi by 25 points, the closest race for the Norris since 2012 between Erik Karlsson and Shea Weber. Karlsson came out on top in that race.
Cale Makar (@Cmakar8) edged Roman Josi by a razor-thin margin in voting points (25), the closest Norris Trophy vote since Ottawa's Erik Karlsson shaded Nashville's Shea Weber in 2011-12 (12). #NHLAwards #NHLStats: https://t.co/TO15cjNV5J pic.twitter.com/Lv22RjorGT— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 21, 2022
Makar is the fifth defenseman in NHL history to win the trophy within his first three regular seasons, joining the likes of Adam Fox, Karlsson, Denis Potvin, and Bobby Orr (who won it twice in that span). Not bad company to be in if you ask me.
He earned the title of Norris winner, with 28 regular-season goals and 58 assists. He broke the franchise records for goals scored and points by a defenseman. While the playoffs don’t count towards the voting process for the Norris, he has still been stellar in this postseason run.
Cale Makar (@Cmakar8) became the fifth defenseman in NHL history to win the Norris Trophy within his first three regular seasons, following Adam Fox, Erik Karlsson, Denis Potvin and Bobby Orr (2x). #NHLStats: https://t.co/TO15cjNV5J pic.twitter.com/L48PPXb7Ri— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 21, 2022
The Norris might just be the first of many for him. This trophy will join the collection of the Calder Trophy from the 2019-20 season, along with the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for winning the Western Conference just a few weeks ago. Could he add a Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe into the trophy case in the coming days? Hopefully, but for now, he will take this trophy humbly en route to another one. Here’s his reaction from the event and a reminder of how good he was scoring the first Norris trophy of his young career.