Where's the Value in the NHL Norris Trophy Race?
Plenty of talented NHL defensemen are in the running for the Norris trophy, but where is the value amongst the group?
Modern-day NHL defensemen are much different than those of the 1980s and 90s. It’s not that physicality isn’t important now, but voters have gravitated toward puck-moving defensemen that can control a game and put up big point totals.
Below, we’ll look into some of the current odds for the Norris Trophy on the FanDuel Sportsbook and see if there’s any value on the board.
When you think of a modern-day defenseman, Colorado’s Cale Makar comes to mind. Makar continues to be a threat to take the award and is currently undervalued. He’s coming off a dynamite season where he captured his first Norris, the Stanley Cup, and Conn Smythe. With the impact he brings to the ice every shift, he’ll be hard to unseat at the top. The Avs defenseman has already compiled 45 points in 44 games. Colorado has dealt with its fair share of injuries, but Makar has been a constant in the lineup. The Avalanche’s number-one defenseman boasts the second-shortest odds to win the Norris at +320, and there’s a strong case that he should be closer to +200 or even higher.
San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is the odds-on favorite right now. It’s a blast from the past for Karlsson, who many thought would never make a substantial impact again after the injuries that he’s had. He’s proven doubters wrong, sitting at +240 to capture the award. The former Ottawa Senator great has tallied 66 points in 51 games and is running away as the leading point-getter for a defenseman. There is some uncertainty as to whether he’ll be able to keep this up after the All-Star break, but with the level he has shown before, no one would put it past him. Karlsson is a feel-good story, but it’s hard to have much confidence backing his short odds.
It’s hard to say that either Makar or Karlsson are great value prices because of how they’ve separated themselves from the pack, but there is one defenseman that stands out on the odds list. Josh Morrissey of the Winnipeg Jets owns the fifth-shortest odds to capture the award at +900 and is putting together an impactful season for the Winnipeg Jets. New head coach Rick Bowness has unlocked Morrissey’s game offensively, and he’s already tallied 53 points in 52 games. The Jets have made a significant jump in the standings, and a lot of credit can go to Morrissey, who’s likely being undervalued with his odds.