Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has been named a finalist for the James Norris trophy, which is awarded to the league’s best defenseman
The James Norris Memorial Trophy is an award that is given to “to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position. ”
This is the second time Hedman has earned the honor of being a finalist for the award, and it’s no surprise that he made the ballot this year. He tied first place in the league for the most goals by a defenseman this season and finished the regular season with an impressive plus-32 rating.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman was one of the four Tampa Bay Lightning players to be named to this season’s NHL All-Star Game but missed the festivities due to injury. In addition to this, Hedman has also broken franchise records for the Bolts this season. As of February the 8th, Hedman is the Lightning’s highest defensive goalscorer with 82 goals and counting.
Both lead their team’s defenses to incredibly successful seasons and both made All-Star Game and playoff appearances (at least for a little while, sorry Kings).
As of now, there’s no clear-cut winner of the award. Subban and Hedman’s chances can only be helped by a deep playoff run from both of their promising teams. Both teams currently hold a commanding 3-1 lead in their first-round series, and both Subban and Hedman are expected to play key roles in the success of their teams.
Hedman isn’t the first Lightning player to be named a finalist for an award this season. Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has been named a finalist for the Vezina trophy, which is awarded to the best goaltender of the year. No Tampa Bay Lightning player has ever won the Norris Trophy, and now Hedman has another chance at becoming the first on June 20 at the NHL Awards.