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Colorado Avalanche's Cale Makar wins Norris Trophy for top NHL defenseman

Makar edges out Tampa Bay's Hedman and Nashville's Josi
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Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 21, 2022

DENVER – Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was named the winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s top all-around defenseman each season, on Tuesday for the first time in what is likely to be a storied career.

Makar edged out Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning, his Stanley Cup Final counterpart, and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators to win the award, which is voted on by members of the professional Hockey Writers Association.

Makar, 23, was named a finalist for the award in May – the second year in a row he has been a finalist. He was the runner up for the award last season. Makar won the Calder Trophy in his first year in Colorado as the league’s top rookie and was among the best players in the NHL this season.

Makar led all NHL defensemen in goals this season, with 28, and finish second behind Josi in points among defensemen, with 86 compared to Josi’s 96. Makar’s 86 points in the regular season set a Colorado franchise record. He was the fifth defenseman since 1992 to score at least 28 goals.

Makar is the first Avalanche player to ever win the Norris Trophy. He, Rob Blake, Ray Bourque and Sandis Ozolinsh were previous finalists.

Though the Norris Trophy is voted on based on a player’s regular season, Makar and the Avs swept Josi and his Predators in the first round of the playoffs, and Makar and Hedman have squared off in the Stanley Cup Final, which the Avalanche lead 2-1 heading into Wednesday’s Game 4 in Tampa.

But in 17 games so far this postseason, Makar has 26 points (seven goals and 19 assists) and is +10. His 26 points are tied for first among teams still in the playoffs, with Nikita Kucherov. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl had 33 and 32 points, respectively, before they were swept in the Western Conference Finals by the Avs.

The 2022 NHL Awards, hosted in Tampa, start at 5 p.m. MT Tuesday and will air on ESPN. Denver7 will have more on the results of the awards ceremony from Florida.

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