Norris Trophy Finalist Erik Karlsson Should Be the Norris Winner

Mar 28, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) looks on from the ice during the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Norris Trophy: With the recent Selke and Calder finalist released, the Norris trophy will be released soon.  Along with the NHL playoffs underway this is a perfect time to dig into why Erik Karlsson will win the Norris trophy.

Norris Trophy: Agree to disagree, although if you disagree you’re just living in la la land. Erik Karlsson has been one of the best, if not the best defensemen in the NHL for nearly four years now.

Karlsson often and always gets ridiculed for his “offensive minded” style of play and how he does not play the defensive side of the puck well. Well, this year he adjusted his game a bit to be a little more defensive minded, and still averaged .92 points per game, with a +10 +/- rating, 17 goals, 54 assists and 73 points. Yeah, for those who said he’s too offensive minded, ok fair enough, here’s your proof that even if he focuses more on defense he still is in the top 20 for points among all NHL players and top 3 among all NHL defensemen.

Yeah, for those who said he’s too offensive minded, ok fair enough, here’s your proof that even if he focuses more on defense he still is in the top 20 for points among all NHL players and top 3 among all NHL defensemen.

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Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Not enough to convince you, fair enough, ok. Chew on this, Erik Karlsson since coming to the NHL in 2009 struggled defensively and balancing the offensive side along with the defensive side, fair enough he was 19 years old. Two years after his first two seasons, he led all defensemen in points

by 25, and continuously did that for the next three seasons. All while being in the top 20 in 4/8 of the seasons he’s been in the NHL. And a matter of fact was #24 in 2014-2015.

Still not enough, tough crowd, okay, this should just about push you over the edge here. And make you come to your senses, you’ll even probably say to yourself “wow was I watching hockey or tennis, cause boy was I wrong about Karlsson.” When we think of great defensemen, Potvin, Bourque, Leetch, Orr, Keith, Suter, so and so on. Well in the NHL history only fourteen defensemen have put up 450 points through eight seasons(mind you Karlsson also missed 72 games in 2012-2013), yeah well Karlsson is #13 on that list. Case closed.

When we think of great defensemen, Potvin, Bourque, Leetch, Orr, Keith, Suter, so and so on. Well in the NHL history only fourteen defensemen have put up 450 points through eight seasons(mind you Karlsson also missed 72 games in 2012-2013), yeah well Karlsson is #13 on that list. Case closed.

Just to be fair, I’ll admit Brent Burns was absolutely ridiculous this season. But keep an open mind to this, Burns has 499 career NHL points, over 13 seasons. Good? Ehh, yes. Compared to Erik Karlsson’s 456 career points over 8 seasons, along with Burns playing offense for a majority of his career. Plus Burns has been on the Sharks with great accompanying guys on the roster. Erik Karlsson has some good pieces but has only been to the playoffs five out of his 8 seasons. Playoffs speaking off Karlsson for exiting the first round 3/4 of the times he has been(prior to this year), has totaled 24 points over 33 games. And is quite literally carrying Ottawa into the second round this season.

Plus Burns has been on the Sharks with great accompanying guys on the roster. Erik Karlsson has some good pieces but has only been to the playoffs five out of his 8 seasons. Playoffs speaking off Karlsson for exiting the first round 3/4 of the times he has been(prior to this year), has totaled 24 points over 33 games. And is quite literally carrying Ottawa into the second round this season.

Erik Karlsson should and is going to win the Norris trophy this season. And honestly, despite being the best defensemen in the NHL for the last four-plus seasons, Karlsson’s name is up there with the greatest defensemen in the NHL ever.

Who’s to say Karlsson won’t be the best defensemen we have ever seen, he’s 26 with a lot of youth left. His case for best defensemen ever is only getting stronger as his career progresses.

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