Avalanche star Cale Makar named finalist for major NHL award
Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar could soon be adding some more hardware to his collection.
A year after finishing second for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best defenseman, Makar is once again a finalist this season. The league announced the news on Monday morning.
Victor Hedman (@TBLightning), Roman Josi (@PredsNHL) and Cale Makar (@Avalanche) are the three finalists for the 2021-22 James Norris Memorial Trophy. #NHLAwards #NHLStats: https://t.co/2QeoUrEkek pic.twitter.com/x5lOD3gaA2
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 9, 2022
Makar won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2019-2020, awarded to the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. He missed out on the Norris to New York’s Adam Fox in 2020-2021, but has a strong case this season. Roman Josi of Nashville, who Makar’s Avs are about to sweep out of the playoffs, is his strongest competition.
Makar scored 28 goals this season, becoming just the fifth defenseman in the past 30 years to reach a total that high. The Avalanche finished with a franchise record 119 points and Makar was arguably their best and most consistent player all year. He tallied 86 total points, second to only Josi (96 points).
The Avs have never had a Norris Trophy winner, with top-three finishers Rob Blake (3rd in 2001-02), Ray Bourque (2nd in 2000-01) and Sandis Ozolinsh (3rd in 1996-97) all coming close. As mentioned, Makar just missed out a season ago.
Colorado currently leads the Predators 3-0 in their first-round series with Game 4 later on Monday night. Makar scored a memorable OT winner to help the Avalanche win Game 2.