Carlson, Hedman and Josi Voted 2020 Norris Trophy Finalists
John Carlson of the Washington Capitals, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2019-2020 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy after the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed during the Conference Finals, with the exact date, format and time to be determined.
The James Norris Memorial Trophy was presented in 1953 by the four children of the late James Norris in memory of the former owner-president of the Detroit Red Wings.
Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:
John Carlson, Washington Capitals
Carlson helped the Capitals to a first-place finish in the Metropolitan Division for a fifth consecutive season by leading all NHL defensemen in scoring by a 10-point margin, tallying a team- and career-high 15-60–75 in 69 games. He became the NHL’s fifth blueliner in the last 30 years to reach the 50-assist mark in 54 games or fewer and first since Sergei Zubov (NYR) in 1993-94. Despite a shortened regular season his 60 assists were the most by a Capitals defenseman since Scott Stevens recorded a franchise-record 61 in 1988-89 and his 75 points were just six fewer than Larry Murphy’s record of 23-58–81 set in 1986-87. The 30-year-old native of Natick, Mass., is a Norris finalist for the first time and looks to become the first Capitals player to win the trophy since Rod Langway had back-to-back triumphs in 1982-83 and 1983-84.
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman ranked third among defensemen in scoring with 11-44–55 in 66 games, marking his fourth consecutive season with 40+ assists and 50+ points. During the Lightning’s scorching 23-2-1 run from Dec. 23 through Feb. 17, Hedman posted an even-or-plus rating in 22 of the 26 games (+29 in all) and played an average of 25:43 per contest. Highlights in that span included four assists on Dec. 28 vs. MTL (5-4 W), tying a franchise record for defensemen, and logging a career-high 32:12 on Feb. 15 vs. PHI (5-3 W). The 29-year-old Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native is the first Norris Trophy finalist in four consecutive seasons since countryman Nicklas Lidstrom with the Detroit Red Wings was selected from 2005-06 through 2008-09. Hedman became the first Lightning player to capture Norris honors in 2017-18 and finished third in 2016-17 and 2018-19.
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Josi led the Predators in scoring with 16-49–65 in 69 games, joining Carlson as the only defenseman to top his club in points this season. Josi’s 65 points set a franchise record for defensemen, surpassing the 61 he had recorded in 2015-16, and his 16 goals marked a career high. The Nashville captain’s 12-game point streak (7-13–20) from Dec. 16-Jan. 9 set another franchise record for defensemen and was the longest by any blueliner since Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere (15 games) in 2015-16. Josi ranked among the top three League defenders in several categories, including shots (1st, 260), points (2nd, 65), goals (t-2nd, 16), assists (2nd, 49) and average time on ice (3rd, 25:47). The 30-year-old Bern, Switzerland, native is a first-time Norris Trophy finalist and is vying to become the first winner in Predators history.