After a record-setting season the likes of which hadn’t been seen in 30 years, Roman Josi has been named a Norris Trophy finalist.
The Nashville Predators’ captain shattered a number of team records this season. His 96 points and 73 assists both stand as the most in franchise history by a considerable margin (both marks were also tops among NHL blueliners this season.) In addition, Josi also became the first defensemen since Ray Bourque in 1994 to top the 90-point plateau, and had the best scoring season by any defensemen since Phil Housley’s 97-point campaign in 1993.
Josi’s competition for the Norris will be Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Makar is likely the one that could be Josi’s trap card. Makar’s 28 goals were most among d-men this season, and his 86 points were second only to Josi. However, Makar has the better of Josi when it comes to defensive analytics, something that more Norris voters have taken note of in recent years, and something that helped Josi’s own Norris case in 2020.
It will be interesting to see which direction voters go. Will Josi’s historic offensive season simply be too impressive to ignore? Or will Makar’s stronger defensive game steer some voters his direction?
Either way, Roman Josi deserves congratulations for a tremendous season.