Kings' Drew Doughty a finalist for the Norris Trophy
Congratulations to Drew Doughty of the Kings, announced Friday as one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, annually awarded to the NHL's best defenseman by a vote of members of the Professional Hockey Writers Assn.
No King has won the award since Rob Blake in 1998, and it's a major affirmation that this precocious kid is a franchise player.
-- Helene Elliott
Here's the NHL's news release:
Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings, Mike Green of the Washington Capitals and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2009-10 James Norris Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position,” the National Hockey League announced today.
The members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the James Norris Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Norris Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Doughty, who won’t turn 21 until Dec. 8, is vying to become the second-youngest Norris Trophy winner -- Bobby Orr won his first of a record eight at 20 years, 3 months of age. With 59 points, Doughty ranked third in the NHL in scoring among defensemen, behind fellow finalists Mike Green and Duncan Keith. Doughty’s 16 goals -- including five game-winners, tops among NHL defensemen -- tied him with Nashville’s Shea Weber for second-most among League blueliners behind Green’s 19. He logged 24:58 of ice time per game, which led the Kings and ranked 13th among all NHL players, and posted a plus-20 rating.
Mike Green, Washington Capitals
Runner-up to Zdeno Chara for the 2009 Norris Trophy, Green followed up his 31-goal 2008-09 season by leading NHL defensemen in both goals (19) and points (76) for the second straight year. He led the League’s blueliners in assists (57) and power-play goals (10), quarterbacking the NHL’s most lethal man-up unit -- Washington’s 79 power-play goals were nine more than any other team and its 25.2-percent success rate easily outpaced the competition. Green also ranked among the League’s top 10 defensemen in plus/minus (second, plus-39), game-winning goals (second, four) and average ice time (ninth, 25:28).
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Keith played all 82 games this season for the third time in his five-year NHL career. In doing so, he logged a total of 2,180:24 of ice time, the most among all NHL players. Having steadily increased his production each year, he took his offense to another level this season, registering career highs in goals (14), assists (55) and points (69). Keith ranked second to Washington’s Mike Green among NHL defensemen in assists and points. He posted a plus-21 rating and is plus-84 over the last three seasons.
The James Norris Memorial Trophy was presented in 1953 by the four children of the late James Norris in memory of the former owner-president of the Detroit Red Wings.
The NHL will announce the three finalists for each of its awards daily. The remaining announcement schedule:
Monday, April 26: Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey)
Tuesday, April 27: NHL Foundation Player Award (contributions to charitable causes)
Wednesday, April 28: Jack Adams Award (top head coach)
Thursday, April 29: Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP)
Photo: The Kings' Drew Doughty clears the puck in front of the Canucks' Daniel Sedin during game four of the Western Conference quarterfinals at Staples Center on Wednesday. Credit: Harry How / Getty Images.