In a move that — really — should surprise no one, Nashville Predators Captain Roman Josi has been named a finalist for the Norris Trophy.
This is the first time Josi’s been a finalist for the NHL’s premier defensive award. The other two nominees are John Carlson from the Washington Capitals, and Victor Hedman from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Victor Hedman, John Carlson, and Roman Josi have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy.— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) July 20, 2020
Who do you think should win? pic.twitter.com/W0Wga3xox5
Josi is coming off easily the best all-around statistical season of his career. His 65 points is the most ever by a Predators defender in a single season, as is his 49 assists. The 65 points is also the most points scored by ANY Predator — defender or forward — since the 2008-2009 season. And this is in a shortened year.
Plenty around the league took notice of Josi’s career season, with the hashtag #Josi4Norris picking up steam towards the end of the year. Many of his fellow players, including former Norris winner Drew Doughty, gave Josi a vote of confidence at the end.
Drew Doughty said if he had a vote for the Norris Trophy today it would go to Roman Josi over John Carlson. "I think Josi has a lot less of a team than Carlson does," Doughty said.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) April 13, 2020
Josi’s biggest road block towards a Norris win might be Carlson, who has widely been considered the favorite throughout the year due to his nearly-unheard-of-in-modern-NHL 1.09 points per game scoring pace. This is despite several arguments that Josi’s contributions to the Preds may have been more impactful than Carlson’s to the Caps.
Hedman is another player whose Norris campaign gained steam throughout the season. He finished with 55 points and was at near the top of the league in several advanced defensive metrics.
Josi joins Shea Weber and P.K. Subban as Predators who have been nominated for the Norris while in Nashville. So far, none has won the award.
So far, there’s no word on when the winner of Norris Trophy, or the rest of the NHL Award winners, will be announced. The awards were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.