Makar Favorite for NHL’s Norris Trophy

The James Norris Memorial Trophy is handed out to the best defenseman and has been awarded since 1954 “to the defensive player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Last year’s winner was Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. In 2021 it was Adam Fox of the New York Rangers. In 2020 it was Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators.

Odds to Win James Norris Trophy

Player Team Odds
Cale Makar Colorado +140
Adam Fox NY Rangers +750
Erik Karlsson San Jose +1000
Rasmus Dahlin Buffalo +1100
Victor Hedman Tampa Bay +1200
Roman Josi Nashville +1200
Miro Heiskanen Dallas +2200
Charlie McAvoy Boston +2500
Quinn Hughes Vancouver +2500
Josh Morrissey Winnipeg +2500
Noah Dobson NY Islanders +2500

Odds courtesy of Bet365

Those three are near the top the leader board again this year, but there are some other names that might sneak in and capture the honor. We take a look at some of them below.

Makar tries for Repeat  

Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche is the overwhelming favorite to win this award, and for good reason. The 24-year-old continues to amaze fans on a nightly basis with his electric style of play, and has changed the way we view defensemen in the NHL. He won the honor last year.

In only his third season, Makar has already solidified himself as one of the top defensemen in the league. What makes him so special is his ability to dissect the opposing team’s defense with his incredible puck handling while blazing down the ice, and he’s doing this at a position that we don’t usually see that from.

Makar has already taken home the Calder Trophy, so he is ready to start building his trophy case with plenty of awards in the future. If he continues to play like this, he’s going to win the award, and he’ll be in the running for years to come. He’s a truly revolutionary player for his position.

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Josi Good Value Bet

Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators has the ability to compete with

Makar for this award. Josi is probably his biggest competition despite slipping from his opening odds of +750.

He was Makar before Makar: a scoring defenseman with good speed, he just didn’t do it as well. Josi is no stranger to being in the Norris Trophy conversation, as he took home the award back in 2020. What sets Josi apart from other defensemen in recent years, is not only did he lead his team in points several times, but how close he was to hitting triple digits. The last NHL defenseman to hit the 100-point threshold was Brian Leetch during the 1991-92 season, and Josi hit 96 in 2021.

He’s now in his 30’s, but it seems that he has only gotten better with age, whereas most people in his position start to slow down. He’s a beast, and he continues to be one of the best in the sport. At +1200, he’s worth a bet.

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Victor Hedman Always Solid Choice

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman has been a consistent Norris Trophy favorite for what seems like forever, and he will make the Hall of Fame when he retires for sure.

There isn’t much more he can do to impress. The durability, the leadership, and the consistency have gotten him to this point, and he will always be in the conversation until he retires. The size and speed of Hedman make him one of the most talented players on the ice at any given time. He’s a key piece to a team that has won multiple championships, and a bet on him is never a bad one.

They’ll need Hedman to be great as they look to win another Stanley Cup this season, and he has been. Hedman is one of the leaders on the team in points, and he’s always a threat to score as well with that powerful wrister.

Lindholm Great Sleeper Pick

One defenseman that is down the betting board a bit but maybe shouldn’t be is Hampus Lindholm of the Boston Bruins. The odds of +3000 make him a perfect underdog to take a flyer on.

The 28-year-old from Sweden currently leads the league in plus-minus at +21 and has chipped in 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) as well. Of those 14 assists, five have been on the power play.

He might not be as sexy a pick as the others ahead of him but Lindholm has great upside and could take the award.

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