You won't find Zdeno Chara on this early Norris finalist list.
Big "Z" is always solid, and his physical style of play is extremely valuable to the Bruins, but a new regime of defensemen are establishing dominance in the NHL.
Erik Karlsson, the 2012 Norris winner, proved that 6'0", 180-pounds, is more than enough on the backend for folks to think you're an elite defenseman.
Karlsson's 2012 campaign was off the charts, posting 78 points and a more-than-steady plus-16 rating. Not only did the league pause to take notice of Karlsson, but in the process, he's reset the bar for NHL defensemen in terms of skating and overall production in all three zones.
The Senators, led by Karlsson and others, are in the playoff hunt yet again this season, but it won't be a repeat performance by the Swedish virtuoso—a couple of other hybrid defenders are positioned to steal the trophy away.
Who are they? Watch the latest video from B/R to find out and be sure to leave a comment below.
Special thanks to the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers in New York City for their assistance and location in producing this video.