An important defensive accolade in the hockey realm is that of the Norris Memorial Trophy. This is an award distributed annually to any given defenseman who shows throughout the season the greatest overall ability in that position.
While the defense of the Chicago Blackhawks has a few kinks to work out, the defensive skills and abilities of Duncan Keith are on an upward incline.
Keith sits with a league-leading 35 assists for Chicago and is showing no signs of slowing down. Keith has the ability to preform out on the ice in every single game and is one of the most reliable and clutch players right now for the Hawks. His ability to skate and intimidate any and all opponents is something that makes him great.
Keith won the Norris Trophy back in 2010 when the Blackhawks won their previous Stanley Cup title. Keith has demonstrated an ability to not only be consistent but to improve upon his consistency and his skills.
Another aspect of Keith’s game that has recently been developing is his offensive reliability. It is not typical for defenseman to be discussed in terms of their offensive ability as that is not their primary focus out on the ice. However, Keith is molding an offensive awareness that is coupling beautifully with his defensive skill.
Combined, these reasons are evidence enough to suggest that Keith is on the fast track for the Norris Trophy this season. His showing throughout the rest of the season will most likely contribute to that evidence as the assistant captain has shown time and time again that his leadership skills can and will help the Blackhawks achieve greatness.