Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman fell short in the voting for the Norris Trophy. Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks won the award, the first of his career. Burns had an insane year, scoring 29 goals, the most since Washington Capitals’ Mike Green.
Hedman finished 3rd in the voting garnering three first place votes on ballots.
Norris voting pic.twitter.com/JTyhGIZ0NC— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) June 22, 2017
When betting odds came out earlier this week, Hedman had the longest odds of any finalist for the major NHL awards with 25-to-1 odds. It’s not a surprise that he fell short of the Norris Trophy when compared to Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson’s performances this year.
It’s still quite an accomplishment for him to be a finalist for the NHL’s award for the best defenseman in the league. This is also the first time the Lightning have had a defenseman finish in the top 3 voting for the trophy. Hedman’s previous high in the voting was 7th in 2015-16. Dan Boyle had the previous high for the Lightning with a 4th place finish in 2006-07.
Among NHL defensemen, Hedman finished 2nd in points with 72, 1st in assists with 56, and tied for 5th in goals with 16. He set career highs in all three offensive statistics. His offensive performance was helped along by a very strong Lightning power play as he posted four goals and 29 assists with the man advantage. He also finished with a career high 24:30 TOI which was 15th among defensemen in the league.
Hedman should be considered a strong contender for the Norris Trophy again next season. At 26 years old, he is in the midst of his prime years. With a fully healthy Lightning squad, there is no reason to think he can’t repeat his offensive performance as the unquestioned leader of the Lightning blue line.