Erik Karlsson should be the front-runner for the Norris Trophy

Erik Karlsson should be the front-runner for the Norris Trophy at midpoint (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Erik Karlsson should be the front-runner for the Norris Trophy at midpoint (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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NHL All-Star weekend is almost here, which makes now the best time to talk about favorites for different awards at the end of the season. One player who should be talked about as the favorite for the Norris Trophy is Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks.

Erik Karlsson should be the front-runner for the Norris Trophy

The Norris Trophy discussion right now revolves around a few different players. Adam Fox and Cale Makar, the winners of the last two Norris Trophies, are two big names in the discussion. As are guys like Rasmus Dahlin, Roman Josi and Josh Morrissey. However, the front-runner should, without a doubt, be Erik Karlsson.

Karlsson is on pace to have his best season offensively in his entire career. In just 51 games, he has 66 points, which is almost double his point total last season in around the same amount of games.

Karlsson has won two Norris Trophies previously, one in 2012 and one in 2015 both with the Ottawa Senators. In the NHL‘s own words, the Norris Trophy is given,

"“to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”"

The Professional Hockey Writers Association votes on the winner of the Norris, with the trophy being handed out at the NHL awards ceremony at the conclusion of the season. Now, the main knock against Karlsson is the fact that he is not on a playoff team. I do not think that should take away from his amazing season.

Currently, Karlsson has 66 points on the season. The next best point total by a defenseman would be Rasmus Dahlin, with 55 on the year. Despite the San Jose Sharks’ struggles on the ice, he is playing great. Karlsson is putting up points and stealing games without the help of an organization undergoing a drastic rebuild.

Karlsson is playing so well this season that teams have to consider trading for him, even though his contract is so massive. Before the season, it looked like the Sharks were never going to be able to move Karlsson, and now at the all-star break, it looks like multiple teams could be looking to add the star.

One defenseman is not going to get your team to the postseason. For a trophy that goes to the best defensemen in the NHL, it is weird to see that making the postseason is basically a prerequisite to be considered. Hopefully, the league gets it right this offseason and gives Erik Karlsson his third Norris Trophy, assuming he continues to put up amazing numbers.