Quinn Hughes will have to wait until next year before getting another shot at the Norris Trophy. The Vancouver Canucks blueliner was not one of the three finalists named for the annual NHL award, given to the league’s top defenceman.
Erik Karlsson, Adam Fox, and Cale Makar were named Norris Trophy finalists today by the NHL, following voting conducted prior to the start of the playoffs by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The winner will be revealed June 26 at the NHL Awards in Nashville.
While clearly a long shot to win the award, Hughes did make a strong case for himself this season. Not only did Hughes finish second in overall scoring among NHL defencemen with a career-high 76 points, he improved his defensive play considerably as well.
The 23-year-old did it while playing a ton, eating up the sixth-most minutes played in the NHL this season, playing 25:40 per game. Hughes also developed into a leader by the admission of his head coach Rick Tocchet.
Karlsson led all defencemen in scoring this season with a whopping 101 points. The San Jose Sharks rearguard is the first defenceman to score 100+ points in a season in 31 years.
The other two finalists have won the Norris Trophy before — Fox won in 2021, while Makar won it last year.
Fox scored 72 points in 82 games while averaging 24:23 of ice time per game. Makar was nominated despite missing 22 games due to injury. He scored 66 points in 60 games, averaging 26:23 per game.
The Canucks missed the playoffs again this season, which likely didn’t help Hughes’ cause. It should be noted that Karlsson’s Sharks finished well below Vancouver in the standings.
Not only has a Canucks defenceman never won the Norris Trophy, but Vancouver also has never even had a finalist for the award before. Hughes, who has the two highest-scoring seasons in Canucks history on his resume, is the first defenceman in franchise history to truly show Norris potential.
- You might also like:
- Captain Quinn? Canucks coach Tocchet talks up Hughes' leadership