By PowerPlayCJ @powerplaywithcj on August 25, 2014
The Norris Trophy for NHL’s top defenseman is one of the most subjective awards in all of sports, because different people measure defensemen and their achievements in different ways. There are plenty of great defensemen in the league who bring different things to the table, and these 10 will surely play their way into the Norris Trophy discussion this season.
Few players at any position bring the offensive prowess that led to Karlsson capturing the 2012 Norris. Despite his defensive shortcomings, look for Karlsson to once again be in the mix and put up a good amount of points.
The 37-year-old giant is showing no signs of slowing down and will be the backbone of the Boston Bruins. Look for the Bruins to cut his minutes to ensure he is fresh for the postseason, and that will hurt his statistics and possibly hurt him in the Norris balloting.
The Wild star plays the most minutes in the NHL and is an integral part of Minnesota’s success. Look for that trend to continue as Suter helps the Wild make the playoffs and earns at least a few Norris votes.
The $ 70 million man won the Norris in 2013 and will be looking to justify his massive contract by playing his way back into the Norris voting. His dynamic play is fun to watch and is an integral part of the Montreal Canadiens’ success, especially in the biggest games.
St. Louis is looking to take the next step and make a lengthy playoff run, and Pietrangelo will be a big part of that. The 24-year-old plays in all situations and forms one of the best pairings in the NHL with veteran Jay Bouwmeester. It’d be foolish to overlook Pietrangelo in the discussion for the Norris Trophy.
After years of having the dreaded “potential” label attached to him, Hedman broke out and was a big reason why the Lightning returned to the playoffs. The 23-year-old will look to continue his amazing all around play and improve using his massive 6-foot-9 frame to defend with the best of them.
The former Wisconsin Badger has been a steadying presence who was consistent offensively before he broke out in the biggest way possible during the Rangers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final. If McDonagh keeps up his newfound offensive prowess in addition to his defensive acumen, there is no doubt he’ll be a finalist for the prestigious award.
The reigning Norris winner is one of the straws that stirs the drink for one of the best teams in hockey. Look for Keith and the Blackhawks to again be among the league’s elite as few defensemen make the teammates better like the former Michigan State Spartan.
Doughty was one of the Kings’ most important players in their run to the 2014 Stanley Cup, and he will look to continue that run going into the 2014 season. With his offensive output, improving defense and underrated physicality, Doughty is almost a lock to be a finalist for the Norris Trophy in 2014-15.
Weber seemingly gets the short end of the stick every year when it comes to the Norris balloting, but that will change in 2014-15. Weber will bring his snarl, physicality and 100 MPH slapshot to the rink every night as he looks to help Nashville return to the playoffs after a two-year absence.
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