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Norris Trophy race: Quinn Hughes, Roman Josi, Cale Makar named finalists for award honoring top defenseman

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The NHL has announced that Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks), Roman Josi (Nashville Predators) and Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche) have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy. The award honors the defensive player “who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Hughes posted a career-high 92 points (17 goals, 75 assists) in 82 games this season. The Canucks blue-liner led all NHL defensemen in power-play assists (33) while ranking second in power-play points (38). Hughes also became the third defenseman in NHL history to record 200 assists in a three-season stretch, joining Paul Coffey and Bobby Orr.

The 24-year-old is the first player in franchise history to be voted as a finalist for the Norris Trophy. If he wins, he’d be just the fourth American-born player to win the award, along with Chris Chelios, Brian Leetch and Adam Fox.

Josi, who is a finalist for the third time, registered 85 points (23 goals, 62 assists) during the regular season, which was the second-highest point total of his career. The Predators star led all NHL defensemen in goals (23), power-play goals (9) and shots on goal (268) this season.

Josi’s 23 goals were the most compiled by a defenseman aged at least 33 years old in NHL history. If the Predators blue-liner captures the award, he would become the oldest finalist to win it.

Makar continues to be one of the sport’s most gifted players on the blue line. The star defenseman registered a career-best 90 points (21 goals, 69 assists) this season. He also set the team record for assists and points by a defenseman, while ranking second among defensemen in goals (21), assists (69) and points (90).

Makar, who won the award in 2021-22, is a Norris Trophy finalist for the fourth time in his first five NHL campaigns. Only Bobby Orr, Brad Park and Denis Potvin have been named a Norris Trophy finalist on at least four occasions across their first five seasons.

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