NHL quarter horses: Any Boston Bruins in the mix for awards?

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: Host Joe Manganiello speaks onstage during the 2017 NHL Awards
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21: Host Joe Manganiello speaks onstage during the 2017 NHL Awards /
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Norris Trophy

The Norris Trophy is designed to reward the NHL defenseman who demonstrates the best all-around ability at the position.  Recently, that has usually been the NHL defenseman that had the most points in the season, so long as they had a respectable plus/minus rating.  The last defenseman to win the Norris with a negative plus/minus was Nicklas Lidstrom in 2010-2011.

That’s not always the case, though.  For example, in 2015-2016, Drew Doughty beat out Erik Karlsson, even though Karlsson had an 82 point season and Doughty only had 51 points.  The difference?  Karlsson had a -2 rating, and Doughty was +24.  That being said, my pick for the Norris at this point in the season is:  Alex Pietrangelo, D, St. Louis Blues.

CALGARY, AB – NOVEMBER 13: Alex Pietrangelo
CALGARY, AB – NOVEMBER 13: Alex Pietrangelo /

The captain of the team, Pietrangelo has set the pace for the Western Conference leading St. Louis Blues.  Through 21 games, Pietrangelo has racked up 7 goals, 12 assists, and a +9 rating.  Extrapolated out for a full season, he is on pace for 27 goals and 47 assists, an incredible 74 point season.

Pietrangelo has never surpassed 51 points in a season (’11-’12 and ’13-’14).  He finished in the top-5 in Norris voting both those seasons.  It is yet to be seen whether Pietangelo can keep up his scoring pace.  But with Vladimir Tarrasenko and Jaden Schwartz dominating up front, and not having to worry about Kevin Shattenkirk steal blueline points, the sky is the limit for Pietrangelo.

Honorable Mention:  Zach Werenski, D, Columbus Blue Jackets.  The young Werenski has 6 goals, 6 assists, and a +8 rating this season.  His 12 points in 20 games aren’t tops in the league.  But his consistent play in both ends of the ice is impressive given his short tenure in the NHL.  Last season, he finished 3rd in the Calder voting, and 18th in the Norris voting.