DENVER – Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar is one of the three finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, which goes to the National Hockey League’s top all-around defenseman, the league announced Monday.
Makar, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators were named the three finalists for the Norris Trophy – an award voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.
Makar is a finalist for the Norris Trophy for a second year in a row. He led NHL defensemen this season with 28 goals and finished second overall among defensemen with 86 points – setting franchise records for defensemen for the Avs.
In his third season, Makar, 23, is widely seen as one of the top young players in the NHL. He won the Calder Trophy in his rookie season as the league’s top rookie.
If Makar wins the Norris Trophy, he would be the first Avalanche player to ever do so. Rob Blake, Ray Borque and Sandis Ozolinsh also previously finished as finalists.
He and Josi have squared off in this first-round series, which the Avs currently lead 3-0 ahead of Monday night’s Game 4. Josi finished the season as the highest-scoring defenseman in 29 years in the NHL and finished with 96 points in the regular season.
Makar already has 7 points in three postseason games so far this year – five assists and two goals – and is +3 so far in the postseason. Josi has 2 points – a goal and an assist – and is so far -2 during the playoffs.
NHL Awards finalists are being announced over the next two weeks, including the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy for the top goaltender on Tuesday.