The NHL awards the James Norris Memorial Trophy annually “to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.” Which is to say, the Norris Trophy goes to the best defenseman in the NHL. At the halfway point of the 2021-22 NHL season, we have a three-man race for the 2022 Norris.
The NHL has already awarded two of the three players in the running for the 2022 Norris the award in the past. The other player who is in the running came in second in voting for the 2021 Norris.
Before we consider the three players who are at the top of the list for the 2022 Norris Trophy, Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Adam Fox of the New York Rangers, let’s look at the betting odds for the Hart Memorial Trophy, which goes to the NHL MVP. Also, be sure to check out our NHL betting tips page for tips and advice on how to wager on hockey.
2022 Norris Trophy Odds
|To Win 2022 Norris Trophy|
Cale Makar makes his case
In 2020, the Colorado Avalanche saw one if its players win the Calder Trophy for the third time in 10 years. That player was defenseman Cale Makar. Now in his third season in the league, Makar who finished second in Norris Trophy voting in 2021, looks poised to win his first — of what could be several — Norris awards.
Makar is fourth in scoring among NHL blueliners this season. He has 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) and is on pace to become the first defenseman to top 30 goals since Mike Green netted 31 in 2008-09. Before Green hit 31, the last defenseman to score 30 or more goals was Kevin Hatcher with 34 in 1993.
GO OFF, CALE MAKAR. 😳🤯
— NHL (@NHL) January 5, 2022
Makar is plus-22 on the season, which puts him near the top of that stat. Makar is also a huge part of the Avalanche power play. He averages 4:07 time on ice per game on the power play, which is the most among defensemen and fourth overall.
Adam Fox looks for two in a row
Adam Fox won the Norris Trophy in 2021 on the strength of a season where he had 47 points (5G, 42A). He also had a plus-19 rating over the course of 55 games. The New York Rangers also awarded him the team’s MVP award. Barring an enormous drop-off, Fox will dwarf those numbers in 2022.
In 43 games played for the Rangers during the 2021-22 campaign, Fox has 46 points (7G, 39A). He leads all NHL defensemen in scoring.
ADAM FOX pic.twitter.com/3u7SQl8QTD
— Rangers on MSG (@RangersMSGN) January 25, 2022
Like Makar, Fox is 23 years old and his play early in his NHL career should have him in the running for many Norris awards.
Victor Hedman looks for his second Norris
Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning won his only Norris in 2018. He has been a finalist for the award for five straight years. It looks like he will make that six years in a row in 2022. Hedman, who is 31, is tied for second in points among defensemen with Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, with 44 (9G, 35A). Of the three favorites to claim the 2022 Norris, Hedman plays the most per game, with an average time on the ice of 25:05.
Hedman might not be as flashy as Makar or Fox, but he plays well at both ends of the ice. He also has a physical aspect of his game that other players lack.
Tampa Bay dresses only four d-men vs LA
Victor Hedman's final stat line in 6-4 W:
• 2 goals
• 1 assist
• 32:37 ice time pic.twitter.com/qD7f8Bf9KE
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 19, 2022
Hedman has made a very good argument for himself to win the 2022 Norris award. One thing that could help him this year is that voters might see him as a sentimental pick over the younger players who have more of their careers in front of them. Hedman is in his 13th season patrolling the Tampa Bay blue line.
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