Canucks captain Hughes earns first Norris Trophy nomination in franchise history

Vancouver Canucks captain Quinn Hughes officially got some validation for what’s been obvious for a while: he’s one of the best defencemen in the entire NHL.

Hughes entered the Canucks’ record books on Wednesday when he was named a Norris Trophy nominee for the first time.

Hughes was nominated alongside Nashville’s Roman Josi and Colorado’s Cale Makar.

He’s the first player in franchise history to be named as one of three finalists for the award handed out to the league’s top defenceman.

But he’s not the only Hughes up for a major NHL award, with his younger brother Luke getting nominated for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie earlier this week.

In his first year as captain, Hughes set career highs in goals (17) and points (92), while also being a key contributor throughout the year in the team’s playoff push. Hughes averaged 24:41 of ice time per game, while suiting up in all 82 regular season contests for the Canucks.

He’s now received votes in four of his five eligible NHL seasons, finishing 15th, 13th, and 9th for the award previously.

His point total was also a record for a Vancouver blueliner, shattering the previous mark of 76 set a year ago by… himself. In five playoff games this season, Hughes has registered five assists.

Pittsburgh’s Erik Karlsson is the reigning Norris winner, having won the third trophy of his career while playing in San Jose last season.

The NHL Awards will be presented in June at a date yet to be announced. For the time being, Hughes and the Canucks are one win away from closing out the Nashville Predators for their first playoff series win since 2020.