2022-12-28 · 3 min read · NHL/Hockey
Erik Karlsson, Adam Fox and Rasmus Dahlin

Stan Szeto-USA Today Sports | Claus Andersen | Corey Sipkin

Let’s check in on our Norris trophy rankings for the 2022 portion of the 2022-23 season.
5. Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)
  • The reigning Norris trophy winner has unsurprisingly been very good again this season, leading all players with over 27 minutes on ice per game. Among all blue liners Makar currently sits fifth in points (31), tied for fourth in goals (8) and tied for third in shots (111). Multiple of the Avalanche stars have missed significant time, namely Nathan McKinnon, meaning Makar has had to drive play even more than normal. Despite all this it feels like Makar has been a bit quieter on offence than expected, something that mostly speaks to the incredibly high standards he has set for himself. Overall, I expect Makar to rise on this list by season's end, especially considering he is just that good and the Avs are getting healthier around him.
4. Josh Morrissey (Winnipeg Jets)
  • Morrissey needs to get more recognition as he is having an outstanding season, currently sitting second in points among defenseman with 40 in 35 games so far, which is already a career high. Morrissey leads all Jets players in points, and is tied for the league lead in games winning goals among defenseman with four. It's not just on offence though as Morrissey is second in defensive point shares and tied for the total point share lead among defenseman. Perhaps the best way to see his impact is that Winnipeg has a staggering +20 goal differential with him deployed this season, the single best number in the league.
3. Adam Fox (New York Rangers)
  • Fox has become a fixture in the Norris discussion, and this year is fourth among all blue liners in points and plays big minutes in all situations for the Rangers, while having better defensive metrics than both the guys above him on this list; I really see spots 1-3 as quite interchangeable at this point. Both Fox's point production and underlying numbers are better than they were during his Norris-winning campaign in 2021, which is an extremely lofty comparative sample. Factoring in both his offensive and defensive contributions, he's quite possibly been the NHL's best all-around defenseman this season, however this is being obfuscated by the storylines surrounding the two guys above him on this list. If Fox can claim his second Norris, he'd become the ninth defenseman ever to win the award twice in a three-year span, putting him in an elite club featuring multiple legends such as Nicklas Lidstrom, Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey, and Bobby Orr.
2. Rasmus Dahlin (Buffalo Sabres)
  • Dahlin is finally proving to be worth the hype as he is breaking out in a big way this season on both ends of the ice. He currently sits tied for second in goals among blue liners with 10 and third in points with 37 despite playing at least four less games than the guy above him on this list. Dahlin is also third in ice time per game and fourth in plus/minus for defenseman despite Buffalo being a bottom 10 team. Dahlin currently sits ninth among all players in point shares with 5.9, and it's time to start mentioning him among the game's elite defenseman.
1. Erik Karlsson (San Jose Sharks)
  • Karlsson’s play has been one of the NHL's best stories this season. After a couple of down years where he struggled with injuries, Karlsson’s has undoubtedly been the league's best offensive defenseman, pacing all blue-liners in goals, assists, points, and offensive point shares. Karlsson is showing no signs of slowing down either, with him currently riding a 10 game point streak, during which he has piled up two goals and 14 assists. The Swede is actually on pace to set career highs in multiple categories, even better than his previous Norris winning campaigns. Even though he may move teams at the deadline, this could end up being a beneficial change of scenery as the Sharks are one of the worst teams in the league, especially on defence. As I said above the top three spots on this list are incredibly close right now but Karlsson's ridiculous production after some lean years is too much to ignore.
Honourable mentions
  • Miro Heisknen (Dallas Stars)
  • Dougie Hamilton (New Jersey Devils)
  • Roman Josi (Nashville Predators)
Sports Tree Profile

By: Chase Howard


Up Next

Sports Tree Blog


Read more2024-06-10 · 3 min read
UEFA Champions League/Soccer
Sports Tree Blog


Read more2024-05-10 · 2 min read

Sports Tree

© 2024 Sports Tree LTD.

The sports tree newsletter

Sign up for the newsletter

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms of Service  and Privacy Policy. You can opt out at any time.