The National Hockey League announced its three finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy on Monday, which recognizes the defenseman "who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position." This award and voted upon annually by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association at the end of the regular season.
Not only did Carlson finish the shortened season as the highest-scoring defenseman this season, he was also on pace to be the highest scoring defenseman in the NHL in 20 years since Brent Burns put up 83 points in the 2018-19 season.
In parts of 11 seasons with the Capitals since being drafted 27th overall in the 2008 NHL Draft, Carlson has become a key staple to the blue line in both ends of the rink. In 757 career games in Washington, Carlson has scored 105 goals, while also racking up 373 assists for 478 points.
This season with the Lightning was another productive year for Hedman with 11 goals and 44 assists for 55 points in just 66 games. The 29-year-old was on a pace to put up his second-best season in scoring with 65 points (13+52) in a possible 78 games for Tampa Bay. He did end up finishing the shortened season third in scoring, which was 20 points behind Carlson for first and 10 points behind Josi for second.
Hedman has become one of the best defensemen in the NHL since entering the league in the 2009-10 season after being drafted second overall in the 2009 NHL Draft. In 762 games through this point of his career, Hedman has put up 473 points (105+368) and has been named a three-time NHL All-Star.
The captain of the Predators is finally a top-three finalist for the Norris after being in the top-five for voting in the 2014-15 season and 2015-16 season, while finishing seventh in voting over the last two seasons. In his nine seasons in Nashville, Josi has gone on to score 413 points (109+304) in 632 games after being a second round pick of the team in the 2008 NHL Draft.
The Hart Trophy, given "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," is the final award the league will name their finalists for on Tuesday.