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Josi Named Finalist for Norris Trophy as NHL’s Top Defenseman

Roman Josi in action [Photo courtesy of]

For the first time in his career, Roman Josi has a chance to be named the NHL’s best blueliner.

The Predators captain has been named a finalist for the 2020 James Norris Memorial Trophy, awarded annually “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

Translation: Josi is one of the best in the world at what he does.

The first-time Norris finalist is joined by John Carlson of the Washington Capitals and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning as the three defensemen up for the honor.

Josi’s talent – particularly throughout the 2019-20 regular season – has been well documented in Nashville, and those from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, who vote on the award, have taken note as well.

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Although the 2019-20 campaign was shortened, Josi’s numbers are still outstanding. He was one of just two Preds to dress for all 69 of Nashville’s games, and over that span, he recorded 16 goals, 49 assists and 65 points, all career highs. His totals for points and helpers both set franchise records in a single season by a defenseman.

The native of Bern, Switzerland, was the only League blueliner to record at least 15 goals, 45 assists, 60 points, a plus-20 rating and 25 minutes of average ice time over the past season.

Josi ranked among the top three League defenders in several categories, including shots (1st, 260), points (2nd, 65), goals (t-2nd, 16), assists (2nd, 49) and average time on ice (3rd, 25:47).

The point streak Josi accumulated as the calendar changed over is also worth a mention.

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The 30-year-old posted points in 12 consecutive games from Dec. 16 through Jan. 9, a period that saw him tally seven goals and 20 points. For those four weeks, Josi turned in a franchise-record point streak for a defenseman and the second-longest overall point streak in Predators’ history.

The mark was also the longest point streak by an NHL defenseman since Shayne Gostisbehere’s 15-game run in 2015-16, and Josi became one of eight NHL blueliners in the past 20 years to record a point streak of at least 10 games. The seven goals Josi potted at the start of the streak came in just five games, the longest goal streak by an NHL defenseman in the last decade, since Mike Green posted an eight-game streak back in 2009.

The 2020 NHL Awards were scheduled for June 18 in Las Vegas but were postponed March 25. The winner of the Norris Trophy will be announced during the Conference Finals or before the Stanley Cup Final.

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