The 2023-24 NHL season is just about here.
Hard as it may seem, training camps are about to start, and the regular season is less than a month away. That makes now the perfect time to consider a Futures bet, like for the winner of the 2024 Norris Trophy, which is annually given to the best defenseman in a single season.
Erik Karlsson won the award in 2023 and is now a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here’s a look at the rest of the Norris Trophy odds.
2024 NHL Norris Trophy Odds
- Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (+190)
- Adam Fox, New York Rangers (+500)
- Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres (+800)
- Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins (+1400)
- Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars (+1400)
- Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (+1400)
- Roman Josi, Nashville Predators (+1800)
- Erik Karlsson, Pittsburgh Penguins (+2000)
- Dougie Hamilton, New Jersey Devils (+2500)
- Jakob Chychrun, Ottawa Senators (+3000)
- Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets (+3000)
- Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (+3000)
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Cale Makar, the Avalanche’s No. 1 blueliner and the 2022 winner, was the preseason favorite for Norris last season and is the clear frontrunner again. A plague of injuries, notably a couple of concussions, damaged his candidacy in 2023, but if he’s healthy, he should be high on the list of contenders again.
Adam Fox, who won the award in 2021, finished as runner-up this season and should be in the mix again. Rasmus Dahlin, the Sabres’ top defenseman, could get into contention if Buffalo continues to improve.
There’s a high volume of former winners, like Karlsson, that would make a good value play. For instance, Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, who won the award in 2020 and was runner-up in 2022, and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Hedman last won the award in 2018 and was a finalist in six straight seasons before a down year in 2023.
2024 Norris Trophy Best Bet
Adam Fox, New York Rangers (+500)
Winning a postseason award is as much about perceptions as it is about skill. In the absence of a runaway, Connor McDavid-style season, voters tend to assess a player’s value to his team while also considering the season the player had.
Thus, voters have determined that Fox is the Rangers’ most important player, leapfrogging goalie Igor Shesterkin, who was the Vezina winner and a Hart Trophy finalist in 2022. Fox’s status as the most important player should be especially important under new coach Peter Laviolette, who will want a more aggressive and play-driving team.
So Fox is the catalyst, and he’s just entering his prime. He’ll turn 26 in February and is averaging 0.9 points per game over the past three seasons, which includes his Norris-winning season in 2021.
Unless a player listed below has a Karlsson-style emergence, the award is likely to come down to Fox and Makar. I just happen to think Fox is in a better position to win.
2024 Norris Trophy Contenders
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (+190)
As stated above, Makar is on the shortlist of the best defensemen in hockey. He had a dream 2022 season followed by a nightmare 2023 campaign, so a bounce-back 2024 should be in order.
Still, there are reasons to concern yourself with Makar’s Norris candidacy, most notably the awful odds of him winning. No other contender is shorter than 5-1, which makes Makar’s 19-10 chances seem not as great.
Don’t get me wrong, if Makar has a brilliant start to the season the odds will shorten immensely. But there could be value in waiting.
- Read our 2024 Stanley Cup Predictions.
The other concern is Makar’s injuries, especially the concussions, which he had in a short span during the year. They shouldn’t affect Makar’s overall career outlook and didn’t seem to affect his play down the stretch or in the playoffs, but any brain injuries make a player more susceptible to more concussions.
Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres (+800)
Dahlin and the Sabres appear headed in the right direction. They only missed the playoffs by one point, and Dahlin had by far his best year as a pro, finishing with 15 goals, 73 points, and a plus-12 rating, each of which was a career-high.
Dahlin finished eighth in Norris voting this season, and the top pick of the 2018 draft seems like a trendy pick to make the leap and get into finalist territory in 2023-24. Maybe he can even steal the award from one of Fox or Makar if all goes right.
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (+1400)
Hughes had a career year that earned him a first-place vote in the final Norris tally. Yet, it wasn’t a huge enough campaign to overshadow his team’s lack of success, like that of Karlsson, nor did his team have enough success to warrant better than a ninth-place finish overall.
Still, Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet is going to lean on his No. 1 defenseman. If the Canucks can get into the playoffs in 2024, and Hughes keeps producing offensively and gets more credit for his defense, he could easily get into the Norris conversation.
2024 Norris Trophy Sleepers
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (+3000)
It’s hard to believe one of the game’s elite defensemen could be this long of a long shot to win the award after he finished among the top three in six straight seasons. But Hedman and the Lightning were each due a regression after three straight Eastern Conference championships, and a pair of Stanley Cup titles, which is why now is the time to cash on this insane value.
Sure, he’ll be 33 on Dec. 18, and there are certainly miles on the odometer. But give Hedman and the Lightning an extra couple of months of rest, both physically and mentally, and I’d expect to see them have a huge year in 2024.
Jakob Chychrun, Ottawa Senators (+3000)
Chychrun is, by all accounts, a No. 1 defenseman, and will finally play his first full season out of the anonymity inherent of playing in Arizona. Chychrun will need to score more than his 0.45 points per game career mark to get into realistic Norris consideration but should be able to do so for the high-flying Senators.
If the Senators take the leap — they started slow yet missed the playoffs by just six points — and Chychrun can have a big year, offensively, he could get in the conversation.
Brandon Montour, Florida Panthers (+5000)
Montour was the breakout star of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but he also quietly finished 12th in Norris voting this season, meaning he was on voters’ radar despite Florida’s subpar regular season.
Montour had a 73-point season while averaging 24-plus minutes per game as Florida’s top blueliner. If he can duplicate that, and the Panthers finish among the top two in the Atlantic Division, he’ll surely finish in the top five at worst.