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NHL Norris Trophy Odds: Makar The Early Favorite

According to NHL Norris Trophy odds, Cale Makar is the favorite to win the award.

The NHL’s Norris Trophy, awarded to the league’s best defenseman each season, seems to have evolved from an award dominated by repeat winners to one given to a new player every year.

Nine different players have won the award over the last nine seasons, including six first-time winners in a row.

New York Rangers star Adam Fox won the award in just his second season last year in a bit of a move away from the trend of “legacy” picks where a new big-name player “who was due” seemed to win the award every year.

Fox was second in scoring among defensemen, but also had fantastic underlying numbers that showed elite ability at both ends of the ice.

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Online sportsbook Bovada has updated its NHL Norris Trophy odds for the 2021-22 season and Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar leads the pack as the +500 favorite, followed by Victor Hedman (+550), Fox (+600), Dougie Hamilton (+1100) and Charlie McAvoy (+1200) to round out the top five choices.

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NHL Norris Trophy Odds

Who will win the 2021-22 Norris trophy?
Cale Makar+500
Victor Hedman+550
Adam Fox+600
Dougie Hamilton+1100
Charlie McAvoy+1200
Quinn Hughes+1200
Jaccob Slavin+1500
Miro Heiskanen+1600
Roman Josi+1700
Aaron Ekblad+2000
Jared Spurgeon+2000
John Carlson+2200
Morgan Rielly+2200
Ryan Pulock+2200
Shea Theodore+2500
Alex Pietrangelo+2500
Devon Toews+2500
Brent Burns+3000
John Klingberg+3000
Kris Letang+3000
Nate Schmidt+3300
Torey Krug+3300
Ryan Ellis+3300
Jakob Chychrun+3300
Mark Giordano+3500
MacKenzie Weegar+3500
Drew Doughty+3500
Alex Edler+4000
Darnell Nurse+4000
Josh Morrissey+4000
Matt Dumba+4000
Erik Karlsson+5000
Matt Grzelcyk+5000
Ivan Provorov+5000
Samuel Girard+5000
Mikhail Sergachev+5000
Ryan Suter+5000

Odds as of August 24 at Bovada

NHL Norris Trophy Odds: Top Contenders

Adam Fox (+600)

Fox was the correct choice for the 2020-21 Norris Trophy after finishing second in scoring among d-men, first in relative expected goals percentage, first in turnover rate, first in puck possession and first in possession success rate among d-men to play 1,000-plus minutes.

For this year, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be able to put up similar numbers. To be so good at such a young age, Fox may just simply be one of the best two or three defensemen in the league and should definitely be in consideration for bettors with the third-best Norris Trophy odds at +600.

Jakob Chychrun (+3300)

It used to be a bit of a joke that the Norris Trophy winner was simply the defenseman who scored the most points. And while Fox represents some change to that narrative as an analytics darling, he was still second in the league in points for d-men.

There’s no doubt that points play a big role in the voting for this award and Jakob Chychrun can produce a lot of them. The Coyotes blue-liner was tied for sixth in scoring among defensemen last season and led the group with 18 goals. Now, we expect that goal total to regress a little bit but the 23-year-old can certainly put himself on voters’ radar with a similar output next season.

Chychrun was second in shot attempts and shots on net last season, and was fifth in high danger expected goals. He was also fifth in relative expected goals percentage. There’s no reason to think Chychrun won’t be toward the top of the list in points by defensemen next season; the problem for Chychrun in Norris Trophy odds is he plays on a Coyotes team that won’t win many games next season and his exposure could be minimal.

MacKenzie Weegar (+3500)

Weegar is far from a household name but could emerge as a well-known player if he can repeat some of the results he had last season. The Panthers should be a playoff team next season and are back in the high-profile Atlantic Division, which could help the case for a player who was great at both ends of the ice last season.

Weegar led all defensemen who played more than 1,000 minutes in takeaways and started 20.9 percent of his shifts in the defensive zone, the second-most among qualified d-men. He was relied upon by his team for his defensive prowess but also finished 12th in points per 60 among d-men and was top 25 in on-ice goals percentage and relative expected goals percentage.

Weegar had a quiet 36 points in 54 games last season, more than Morgan Rielly, Roman Josi, Devon Toews, Brent Burns, Miro Heiskanen, Torey Krug and Charlie McAvoy – all players ahead of Weegar in NHL Norris Trophy odds.

Weegar is great value at +3500.

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Best Bet: Cale Makar (+500)

Makar might already be the best defenseman in the league. The 22-year-old missed some games due to injury last season but still finished with 44 points in 44 games and was only four points off Tyson Barrie’s league-leading 48 for rearguards despite playing 12 fewer games.

Makar’s underlying numbers were elite as well. He finished second to Fox last season in relative expected goals percentage, first in on-ice expected goals percentage, tied for first in Corsi and tied for eighth in takeaways (all stats among defensemen who played 1,000-plus minutes).

It would be shocking if a player of Makar’s talent didn’t win multiple Norris trophies in his career and there’s no reason it can’t start this season.

For any award, +500 is decent odds for a favorite.