Norris Trophy Candidates Announced
Continuing with their daily announcements of candidates for June's NHL awards in Las Vegas, the NHL has announced the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the league's best defenseman.
The three candidates are Los Angeles' Drew Doughty, Washington's Mike Green and Chicago's Duncan Keith.
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Doughty, only 20 years old, has established himself as the Los Angeles Kings top defenseman at a very young age. Coming off gold medal performance at this year's Olympics, Doughty finished the year 3rd in rookie scoring with 59 points, 16 goals (including 5 game winners, the best in the league), 9 powerplay goals (second behind Mike Green), and a +20 rating. Doughty also had one of the best goal percentages in the league at 11.25%. If Doughty wins, he will be the second youngest Norris winner in history behind Bobby Orr.
Joining Doughty is fellow Olympic Gold medalist Duncan Keith, who finished the season with 69 points (14 goals) and a +21. Keith, who was second in the league in Ice time per game (26:35, behind Joni Pitkanen), was an integral part of the Blackhawks success this season, forming their top pairing along with Keith Seabrook and proving to be a key part of the Blackhawks line-up for years to come when he signed a 12 year, $72 million contract extension with the Hawks.
Finally, Mike Green, the leader in points (76), Goals (19), and assists (57) by a defenseman will join the other two. Green was snubbed by Steve Yzerman and hockey Canada for a spot on team Canada, but responded with an incredible offensive season with the Caps. Green and his defense partner, Jeff Shultz, where a combined +89, by far the best in the league. Green averaged 25:46 of ice time and had a league leading 10 powerplay points.
Some notable names left off the ballot were Nashville's Shea Weber, Boston's Zdeno Chara, Tyler Myers, and every year's top candidate, Nick Lidstrom.
It will be a tough race for the trophy, as all three have a good shot. The winner will be announced June 23rd in Las Vegas.
More to come,