The Norris Trophy has become a somewhat challenging award to peg the last few seasons.
How we look at defensemen in the NHL is evolving. Often, voters will vote based on the most offensively-gifted defensemen, which is why someone like John Carlson always seems to be in the conversation.
But as analytics have become more sophisticated and readily available, people are beginning to better evaluate defensemen, and how players like Carlson sometimes can be more of a hinderance to their team because they are so ineffective in their own zone.
Last season, it was New York Rangers blueliner Adam Fox who sort of came out of nowhere to win the award. He’s a household name now, but there’s value all over the place in an award that is so challenging to predict.
Cale Makar is the favorite at +350, a runaway when you consider the next closest, Fox and Victory Hedman, are +700, followed by Dougie Hamilton and Charlie McAvoy at +1200.
Here are the top odds over on DraftKings Sportsbook.
NORRIS TROPHY ODDS
Cale Makar +350
Adam Fox +700
VIctor Hedman +700
Dougie Hamilton +1200
Charlie McAvoy +1200
Jaccob Slavin +1700
Miro Heiskanen +1700
Roman Josi +1700
Jaccob Slavin (+1700) — Slavin is probably the best mixture of someone who could net you a decent payout without being borderline impractical of a wager. He’s popped up on Norris ballots every season minus his rookie year, finishing as high as fifth in 2019-20. A do-it-all defenseman, what could help Slavin’s case is how he performs this season without his usual partner Hamilton, now of the New Jersey Devils. Should the 27-year-old put up another 30-plus-point season while locking things down in the defensive zone, he will be firmly in the conversation. Use this transition to your advantage, because that will definitely be front of mind for voters when they case their ballots.
If you’re looking for other realistic picks that are down the board, Shea Theodore at +2000, plus Nate Schmidt and Ryan Ellis at +3000 are obvious reaches, but not out of the realm of possibility.