The regular season is past the halfway point, and the race for the Norris Trophy is one of the most compelling awards fields for the 2022-23 NHL season.
Here’s a look at the race for the 2023 Norris Trophy.
2023 NHL Norris Trophy Odds
Here are the betting favorites to win the 2023 Norris Trophy as of Feb. 1, 2022. (Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.)
- Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (+250)
- Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks (+250)
- Adam Fox, New York Rangers (+400)
- Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres (+450)
- Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets (+700)
Makar, who won the award in 2022, was the runaway favorite until a midseason injury brought him back to the pack. Plus, two-time Norris winner Erik Karlsson is having a resurgent season, leading all defensemen in points as of the All-Star break.
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Adam Fox, who won the award in 2021, continues to be one of the best in the business, and Rasmus Dahlin has already surpassed his career high in points (53, set in 2021-22) as of the All-Star break.
Josh Morrissey, like Dahlin, has set a new career high for single-season points and serves as a great option by playing for the Winnipeg Jets, arguably the top team in the Western Conference.
2023 Norris Trophy Prediction
Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres (+450)
There’s no mandatory playoff qualification requirement for postseason award winners, but it would be hard to vote against Dahlin if the Sabres make the postseason for the first time since 2011. Leading scorer and top-line center Tage Thompson has deservedly gotten a ton of credit for Buffalo’s success, but Dahlin has been arguably the Sabres’ most important player.
Dahlin sits in the top-five in the league in traditional stats (points, time on ice, shots) and advanced metrics (individual high-danger chances and individual Expected Goals) among defensemen. Plus, with Karlsson’s San Jose Sharks long out of the playoff chase, and Buffalo one of the feel-good stories of the year, Dahlin should certainly be a finalist.
The award has been Makar’s to lose since preseason, but his injury and the Avalanche’s inconsistencies have let the field back into play. At this juncture, Dahlin would be my pick.
2023 Norris Trophy Contenders
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (+250)
Waiting for the season to start is generally the perfect way to get slightly better odds on the favorite, and that’s exactly what’s happened for Makar.
The Avalanche superstar defenseman was Even money at the season’s outset but has been unlucky in the goal-scoring department and missed time due to a lower-body injury.
Make no mistake, Makar is still the favorite, even with Karlsson’s renaissance year and Dahlin’s emergence. The odds are exceptional given the likelihood of Makar winning.
Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks (+250)
Karlsson is having as surprising a season as any player in hockey. He already surpassed his point total the previous two seasons combined (57).
Karlsson won the award twice in Ottawa, (2012 and 2015) and is a two-time runner-up, as well. He’s almost assured of being a finalist this season.
Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets (+700)
With all due respect to Fox, who has been great yet again, Morrissey has been the No. 1 defenseman for one of the top teams in the Western Conference. He’s among the leaders in points by a defenseman league-wide too.
Morrissey’s odds have already dropped from +2800 in December, and if he keeps playing as he has, his odds will only get shorter, even though he plays in one of the NHL’s smallest markets.
2023 Norris Trophy Sleepers
Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (+4000)
The Predators are on the playoff bubble, and Josi is having a so-so season by his own lofty standards. Still, he’s top-10 in average time on ice and leading the league in shots on goal by defensemen as of the All-Star break.
Josi is one of the few players who can put his team on his back for a long period of time, mainly because he is unquestionably Nashville’s best player both offensively and defensively. The odds are super-long, but if anyone could get back into the mix for the Norris it’s Josi, who has been a finalist two of the past three seasons and won the award in 2020.
Hampus Lindholm, Boston Bruins (+6500)
Lindholm is having a whale of a season, leading all Bruins defensemen in points and sitting atop the NHL in plus/minus as of the All-Star break. Lindholm is also leading the Bruins in most advanced stats, which many data-savvy voters consult when making their picks.
The Bruins are having such a dominant season that voters may feel compelled to reward their players, plus Boston has a large and vocal media contingent that could start banging the drum for Lindholm to get considered.
The odds are long, but Lindholm generating a candidacy isn’t out of the question, as long as he keeps playing as he has.