Makar is the first Avalanche player to win the award for the best defenseman in the NHL.
DENVER — Cale Makar is the best defenseman in the National Hockey League.
The Avalanche defenseman won the 2021-22 James Norris Memorial Trophy on Tuesday. The award goes, “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”
Makar just edged out Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators in the number of voting points he received.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
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Makar was a Norris finalist for a second-consecutive season and is the fourth defenseman to be voted a finalist for an NHL Award in each of his first three seasons, having won the Calder Trophy in his rookie campaign of 2019-20.
He is also the first Norris Trophy winner in Avalanche history.
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During the regular season, Makar scored 28 points, leading all other defensemen. That broke former Avalanche Sandis Ozolinsh’s single-season franchise record by a defenseman. On the night he eclipsed Ozolinsh’s mark, teammate Mikko Rantanen had to inform him of the milestone.
He is only the fifth defenseman in the last 30 years to reach that mark.
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Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning ranked third for the fourth consecutive year.
For more on the Norris Trophy, including a list of past winners, click here.
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