The Norris Trophy nominations have been narrowed down to three, and they are what many expected them to be.
Friday night, the NHL announced that Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty and Sharks defenseman Brent Burns have all been nominated for the 2015-16 award. The Norris is given to the "defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position."
A season removed from winning the trophy for the second time in his career, Karlsson has been nominated once more after scoring 82 points in 82 games with Ottawa. Karlsson is the slight favorite in the race, as he's the first defenseman to hit the 82 point mark since Brian Leetch and Ray Bourque did so 20 years ago. His 66 assists also leads all NHL defensemen by a wide margin.
Karlsson's stiffest competition is against Doughty, who is the opposite of the Senators defenseman in more than a few ways. Doughty had only 51 points on the season, but his defensive skills are well known and his CorsiFor% is tops in the league.
Burns beat out Pittsburgh's Kris Letang for the third and final spot. The Sharks defenseman had 75 points on the season, just second behind Karlsson and his 26 goals were first among all blue liners this season. Burns also lead the league's defensemen with 30 power play points and 353 shots on goal.
The winner for the Norris and the other awards will be announced at the NHL Awards on June 22 in Las Vegas.