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Klingberg, Hedman, Doughty headline Norris trophy talk

Norris Trophy Photo by Opus720


Klingberg, Hedman, Doughty Lead the Discussion for Norris

This season has been full of surprises. Teams such as the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Winnipeg Jets have both taken the reigns in their respective divisions. Players like Nathan MacKinnon, Josh Bailey and Brayden Schenn have all contributed significantly to their teams in a big way. Now that the halfway point in the NHL season has been reached, some discussion can be made about awards. The Norris Trophy for best defenseman has three strong contenders early in the season. John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars, Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings lead the pack.

John Klingberg

The Stars are in the first Wild Card slot for the Western Conference and a big reason is Klingberg. As a defensemen in the National Hockey League, points are not a priority in order to receive the Norris. Many previous winners have not led the league in scoring, but have attributed to much more than just points. However, John Klingberg has been a part of both scoring and defensive impact. He has quietly racked up an impressive 39 points in 43 games to put him at the top of defensive scoring. He currently owns 33 assists and a +/- of 12. While he has not put up incredible TOI/GP, his impact on offense cannot be overlooked. Put Klingberg as the current front-runner for Norris.

Victor Hedman

Tampa Bay Lightning. From last season’s disappoinment, to the powerhouse of the current 2017-2018 campaign (Here for more on their hot start) ; the Lightning have brought their “A-game” this whole year. Victor Hedman’s presence on the blue line has been just what the team needed this year. So far the Swedish veteran has put up a substantial 31 points in 42 games this year. Along with this respectable number, he has also contirbuted to an astounding +/- of 21. Hedman is sixth among defensemen for TOI/GP and his time on the ice has been very influential. Victor Hedman has been a perennial Norris Contender but due to the success of the Lightning he may have a better case than years past.

Drew Doughty

Often controversial, but undoubtedly talented; Drew Doughty joins Victor Hedman as yet another perennial Norris candidate. The Los Angeles Kings have had inconsistent last few years. The model of consistency has been Doughty for them and this season is no different. He leads the league in TOI/GP, is tied for 6th for defensemen for points and has an equal +/- to Hedman. Drew Doughty is an exceptionally skilled hockey player and is always in the contention for Norris candidacy.