Nashville Predators' Roman Josi is a Norris Trophy Finalist for Third Time of Career

It's simply remarkable that Captain RomanJosi who is about to be 34 is showing no signs of regressing as one of the best defenseman in the NHL.
Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators - Game Four
Vancouver Canucks v Nashville Predators - Game Four / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

For the third time of his Nashville Predators career, Roman Josi has been named a finalist for the 2024 Norris Trophy along with Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.

Josi won the Norris Trophy in 2020 and finished runner-up to Makar in 2022, the season he amassed 96 points.

This is the seventh time a Predators player has been named as a Norris Trophy finalist. Shea Weber was a finalist three times coming in 2011, 2012 and 2014. P.K. Subban finished third in the voting in 2018 representing the Predators during their Presidents Trophy season.

Josi scored the game-tying goal in Game 5 of the Predators' first round series against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. It was his 12th career playoff goal, which puts him tied with Viktor Arvidsson on the Predators' all time list. Filip Forsberg leads that category with 31 playoff goals.

Josi isn't letting Father Time catch up to him yet

Josi is coming off his second-highest season point total of his career with 85, and what makes it so impressive is this comes in his 13th NHL season. After finishing with just 59 points last season, many started to wonder if Josi was finally going to start regressing with father time catching up. It didn't happen.

On top of the point production, another impressive feat for Josi at age 33 and about to be 34 is he played in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his NHL career. All while doing a lot of damage on the revamped Predators power play with nine goals and 24 assists with the man advantage. The Predators improved from 27th to 16th on the power play with Josi quarterbacking the top unit.

Among defensemen in 2023-24 Josi had the most goals with 23, leading Makar by two. Hughes had 17 goals while also playing in all 82 regular season games.

Where Hughes sets himself apart and probably is the frontrunner to win his first Norris Trophy is his 75 assists and his +38 plus/minus. Although plus/minus gets a lot of criticism for not being an accurate stat to grade a players impact, a +38 is something you just can't ignore. Josi finished with a +12, and Makar with a +15.

Discipline and staying out of the penalty box is important for star players, and for the Norris Trophy finalists, Makar leads this category by taking only 16 PIM. Josi had 45 PIM and Hughes had 38 PIM.

What Josi has going for him in this Norris Trophy vote with Hughes and Makar is how vital he is to everything the Predators do. If he isn't out there, the Predators offense just doesn't go smoothly. The same can be said about Hughes and Makar, but not to the same level. Josi is way more vital to his team than Hughes is to the Canucks or definitely than Makar is to the Avalanche.

A really difficult choice to make between Josi, Makar and Hughes

In terms of who is the better defensive defenseman of the three, it's between Josi and Makar. As great as Hughes is, he is purely an offensive and power play specialist defenseman. Josi leads the trio in blocks this season with 151, with Makar right behind at 148. Hughes had just 55 blocks.

Hughes also doesn't give any value to the penalty kill, whereas Josi and Makar do. This isn't to say Hughes isn't an effective two-way defenseman, but he's not on the level of Josi or Makar, respectfully. His elite play is all from his offensive game, much like the reputations Josi carried through his prime years.


This will not be an easy vote. You can make solid arguments for all three and I honestly have no clue who will take this. I'm thinking they will give it to Hughes because the Norris Trophy has so much become a purely offensive award leading many to ask for two separate awards for best offensive defenseman and best defensive defenseman.

Ultimately I think the voters will go with Makar again and Josi will finish third in the voting. Makar is the best all-around defenseman in the world, so as much as I would love to see Josi claim his second Norris Trophy, if I put my bias aside I would vote for Makar.

Honestly, all three are deserving and elite in their own ways that bring different value to their teams. They voters can't really get this wrong regardless of who wins.