The NHL announced the three finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy Wednesday are Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche:
The award is given to the top defenseman in the league, while the list of finalists includes one former winner and 12-year veteran in Hedman as well as two players (Fox and Makar) excelling in their second seasons in the NHL.
The winners of all of the year's awards will be announced during the Stanley Cup Semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.
Hedman has easily the best career resume of the finalists, having won the Norris Trophy in 2017-18 and been named a finalist for the fifth straight year. He has also been selected to three All-Star games while he helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup last season, taking home the Conn Smythe Trophy in the process.
The 30-year-old finished 2020-21 with 45 points in 54 games while averaging 25:03 on the ice, the second-most of his career.
He will have to beat out younger competition that includes Makar, one of the top prospects in the sport. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 draft burst onto the scene last year by winning the Calder Trophy, also earning votes for the Norris.
Makar, 22, has kept it up this year with eight goals and 36 assists in 44 games, also finishing plus-17 for the Avalanche.
Fox has even better numbers for the Rangers, leading all defensemen with 42 assists. He added five goals while finishing plus-19 on the year for a team that didn't even make the playoffs.
The 23-year-old is hoping to be the fourth Rangers player to win the Norris Trophy and the first since Brian Leetch in 1996-97.