Norris Trophy Winner Predictions & Odds 2021

Norris Trophy WInner

  • There are a lot of familiar faces in the running for the Norris Trophy this season and we take a closer look at the best of them
  • The top-5 favorites include the best defenseman from last year as well as the winner from the 2018 NHL season
  • The NHL division realignment keeps things interesting as some of these defensive favorites will be going head-to-head more than usual in 2021

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Norris Trophy Winner Odds

Odds taken from BetMGM, updated on April 7, 2021.

Player/Team Odds
Victor Hedman/Tampa Bay Lightning -175
John Carlson/Washington Capitals +1200
Alex Pietrangelo/Vegas Golden Knights +3500

Odds from BetMGM. Get up to a $600 sign-up bonus at BetMGM today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.

What is the James Norris Memorial Trophy?

Introduced in 1954, the James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the defenseman deemed the best at his position as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

It is named after James Norris, a long-time legendary owner of the Detroit Red Wings franchise. Since its inception, the Norris Trophy has been awarded 61 times to 26 different players.

Coincidentally, the first-ever winner of the award, named after a man long associated with the Red Wings, was a Red Wing himself. In 1954, Detroit defenseman Red Kelly became the first player in history to win the award.

How Is the James Norris Memorial Trophy Winner Selected?

At the end of the regular season, the members of the Hockey Writers’ Association vote to determine the player who was the best defenseman during the regular season. The 10-7-3-5-1 point system is used.

Past winners include Nashville’s Roman Josi, Calgary’s Mark Giordano, Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman, San Jose’s Brent Burns, and Los Angeles’ Drew Doughty.

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Favorites to Win Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman – Tampa Bay Lightning (-175)

The man with the best odds of winning the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman goes to a man who won the Stanley Cup last season and who won this very award for the first time in his career in 2018: Victor Hedman.

The 6 ft. 6 in. Swede has spent all 11 of his NHL season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Across that time he has amassed 105 goals, 473 points, 1,1172 blocked shots, 826 hits, 1,533 shots on net, and has a career plus-116.

A favorite for the Norris award this year, Hedman was a finalist for the award last year – being eked out by Nashville’s Roman Josi (We’ll get there).

Although without leading goal scorer Nikita Kucherov this season, the Tampa Bay Lightning still has plenty of talent to win a second championship in a row – and Hedman is a big part of that. At 30-year-old, Hedman finished last season with 55 points, 98 blocks, 73 hits, and was plus-27 in 66 games, and was the Conn Smythe winner as the most valuable player in the playoffs for the Lightning’s Stanley Cup win.

There is a lot of competition for the Norris this year, especially given the realignment of the divisions, but there is no arguing Victor Hedman’s status as an elite NHL player with the tools required to win his second Norris Trophy in three years.

Roman Josi – Nashville Predators

The man with the second-best odds to take home the Norris in 2021 is the man who won the award in 2020: Nashville’s Roman Josi – the first in team history to win the award (and this is a team that boasted Shea Weber for 15 seasons).

The 30-year-old Swiss player has had a nine-year NHL career, with that entire span coming with the Nashville Predators team of which he is now the captain of. Josi has played 632 NHL games and in that time has amassed 109 goals, 413 points, 1,731 shots, 1,206 blocked shots, 447 hits, and is a plus-66 for his career. He also helped lead his team to their first Stanley Cup final in 2017.

Last season, Josi had 65 points in 69 games with the Preds and was a plus-22. He led all defensemen in shots, was second in goals, and third in ice time.

The Predators will have their work cut out for them this season as they find themselves in the Central division with the aforementioned Tampa Bay Lightning as well as the soon-to-be-mention Carolina Hurricanes and the Dallas Stars. But Josi is a proven leader and defender who is able to get the best out of his teammates and his odds to win the Norris this season are a testament to just how well he can backstop a team.

Dougie Hamilton – Carolina Hurricanes

Sitting right behind Roman Josi in the sportsbooks for the Norris trophy is the Carolina Hurricanes’, Dougie Hamilton. The 27-year-old Canadian is no push-over, standing at 6 ft. 6 in. tall and weighing over 220-pounds. The Hurricanes traded for Hamilton in 2018, acquiring him from the Boston Bruins, and haven’t looked back.

In 2020, his second year in Carolina, Hamilton played 47 games. During that time, he potted 14 goals and 40 points. He had 63 blocks and 52 hits and finished the season as a plus-30, which was the second-best plus-minus rating among defensemen last year.

What makes Hamilton a huge favorite this season can be attributed to the acquisitions that the Carolina Hurricanes have made on the back-end over the past two years. Carolina has put themselves in a position heading into the 2021 season to have, arguably, the best defensive corps in the NHL; and it starts with Dougie Hamilton. Jacob Slavin, Jake Gardiner, and Brady Skjei, among others, backstop the team, giving Hamilton the opportunity to play a more offensive role on the blue line – especially on the powerplay.

With Carolina’s roster as a whole and their overall odds to win the Stanley Cup, Dougie Hamilton has everything he needs to have a breakout, Norris trophy-winning season.

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Ryan Bristlon

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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.

Email: [email protected]