Avalanche's Cale Makar Wins 2021-22 Norris Trophy

Erin WalshJune 21, 2022

DENVER, CO - MAY 31: Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) celebrates his goal against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) in the second period during game one of the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals at Ball Arena May 31, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche star Cale Makar has won the 2021-22 Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman, beating out Nashville Predators veteran Roman Josi and Tampa Bay Lightning big man Victor Hedman for the honor.

Colorado Avalanche @Avalanche

It's CALE MAKAR.<br><br>Well earned, Cale.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoAvsGo?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoAvsGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/sR96YbHyX8">pic.twitter.com/sR96YbHyX8</a>

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Cale Makar (<a href="https://twitter.com/Cmakar8?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Cmakar8</a>) 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). <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLStats?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NHLStats</a>: <a href="https://t.co/TO15cjNV5J">https://t.co/TO15cjNV5J</a> <a href="https://t.co/L48PPXb7Ri">pic.twitter.com/L48PPXb7Ri</a>

Greg Wyshynski @wyshynski

Norris Trophy voting and my ballot. <a href="https://t.co/zgN9zsOBCR">pic.twitter.com/zgN9zsOBCR</a>

Makar, who was also nominated for the award last season, is Colorado's first-ever Norris Trophy winner.

The 23-year-old led all defensemen with 28 goals and ranked second among defensemen with 86 points in 77 regular-season games. He also averaged 25:40 of ice time and a plus-48 plus/minus.

The Avalanche selected Makar fourth overall in the 2017 draft. After playing four seasons of college hockey at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, he made his NHL debut during the 2019-20 season.

The Canadian tallied 12 goals and 38 assists for 50 points in 57 games during his first season and won the Calder Trophy as the NHL's most outstanding rookie. He also finished ninth in Norris Trophy voting that year.

Makar was a finalist for the Norris award during the 2020-21 pandemic-shortened season after recording eight goals and 36 assists for 44 points in 44 games, but he finished second to New York Rangers star Adam Fox.

Considering he had a breakout 2021-22 campaign, it's no surprise he was the winner of this year's Norris Trophy.