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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 +350 favorite, followed by Victor Hedman (+750), Fox (+800), Dougie Hamilton (+1200) 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+350
Victor Hedman+750
Adam Fox+800
Dougie Hamilton+1200
Charlie McAvoy+1200
Aaron Ekblad+1600
Jaccob Slavin+1600
Miro Heiskanen+1600
Morgan Rielly+1600
Quinn Hughes+1800
Roman Josi+1800
Jared Spurgeon+2000
Alex Pietrangelo+2000
Ryan Pulock+2000
Shea Theodore+2000
John Carlson+2200
Thomas Chabot+2500
Devon Toews+2500
Brent Burns+2500
Kris Letang+2800
Darnell Nurse+3000
Torey Krug+3300
Ryan Ellis+3300
Jakob Chychrun+3300
Nate Schmidt+3300
Drew Doughty+3300
John Klingberg+3500
Mark Giordano+3500
MacKenzie Weegar+3500
Matt Grzelcyk+3500
Alex Edler+4000
Erik Karlsson+4000
Josh Morrissey+4000
Matt Dumba+4000
Justin Faulk+4000
Seth Jones+4000
Zach Werenski+4000

Odds as of October 26 at Bovada

NHL Norris Trophy Odds: Top Contenders

Adam Fox (+800)

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 +800.

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.

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

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: Victor Hedman +750

The 2017-18 Norris Trophy winner is already off to a great start with seven points in six games played.

Hedman is dominant when on top of his game – something we didn’t always see last season despite the Lightning’s run to a second consecutive Cup victory.

But with several key players gone from the Lightning roster and the impossibility (we think) of a three-peat at the end of the season, the expectations for this team and for Hedman may be more tempered than in past years.

That situation makes for the perfect opportunity and narrative needed for Hedman to have a “rebound” season and win this award for the second time.

The general consensus is this Lightning team isn’t as good as either of the last two, so if Hedman can lead all defensemen in scoring (or come close) while Tampa again ends up at the top of the standings, he will most definitely be in the conversation for Norris Trophy consideration. 

He is solid value at +750.