Canucks captain Quinn Hughes among finalists for NHL’s defenceman of the year

Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks, Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, and Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the Norris Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best defenceman, the league announced Wednesday.

The trophy is voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Hughes, in his first season as Canucks captain, led all blueliners with a career-high 92 points (17 goals, 75 assists) and set franchise records for points and assists by a defenceman. He is the first Canuck to be nominated for the Norris and is looking to become the fourth U.S.-born player to win the award.

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His younger brother Luke Hughes of the New Jersey Devils was named a Calder Trophy finalist for rookie of the year on Tuesday.

Makar, who won the Norris following the 2021-22 season, set career highs and franchise records with 90 points and 69 assists. The 25-year-old Makar registered his 300th point in his 280th game to become the second-fastest blueliner in NHL history to reach the milestone, one game shy of Bobby Orr. Makar is a Norris finalist for the fourth time in his first five seasons.

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Josi, the Norris winner in 2019-20 and three-time nominee, led all NHL defencemen with 23 goals and finished third with 85 points, behind Hughes and Makar. At age 33, he is the oldest finalist for the trophy since Mark Giordano (35 with Calgary) and Brent Burns (34 with San Jose) were nominated in 2018-19.

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