When looking at the stats, most people will automatically point to John Carlson as this year’s deserving Norris winner. He put up insane numbers for a defenceman, scoring over a point per game pace with 75 points in 69 games. Despite that, I think when taking into account the offensive side as well as the defensive side of the game, which is a defenceman’s true job, nobody deserves to have their name on the Norris Trophy this year more than Roman Josi. Let’s get into why.
John Carlson has been one of the league’s most underrated defencemen in the league the past couple years, but really became a household name this year after exploding offensively. He had 15 goals and 60 assists in 69 games this year, promptly placing himself on top of a lot of people’s ballots. Carlson’s other-worldly stats this year undermined Josi’s offensive production this year which wasn’t too shabby either. With 16 goals and 49 assists for 65 points in 69 games, Josi also had a spectacular season offensively while playing on Nashville’s top pair with another of the league’s most underrated defenseman, Ryan Ellis. Josi’s production is being extremely underrated by Carlson’s higher point total despite Josi almost matching his points and goals per 60.
The place where Josi sets himself apart from Carlson is his defence which is much better than Carlson’s. Carlson is terrible defensively and sometimes looks like a right-winger out there. When paired with a defensive defenceman, Carlson is spectacular as he doesn’t have to worry about the defence. With that said, the Norris is for the best individual defenceman, and not the best pair. On the other hand, Josi is a positive defensively and overall much more well rounded. Josi has a better Corsi and plays more on the penalty kill, proving himself to be a more well-rounded and defensively sound player. His advanced stats show him to be much better defensively at even strength while they show Carlson to be a negative.
Carlson’s point production alone propels him into the top 3, which is insane, but I don’t think it should be able to propel him to first. Josi has had a spectacular season at both sides of the off and deserves to be recognized as the rightful Norris winner. These are the reasons I think Josi should win the Norris over Carlson. Leave your thoughts below and thanks for reading.