NHL names Canucks captain Quinn Hughes a finalist for James Norris Memorial Trophy

Hughes has achieved career highs for the Canucks this season
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Quinn Hughes, 24, is one of three finalists selected by the NHL for the James Norris Memorial Trophy. The James Norris Memorial Trophy is awarded each year to the league's best defenseman. 26 players have earned the award over its 62-year history with Bobby Orr being the eight-time winner. The Professional Hockey Writers' Association is the governing body that selects the winner.

Hughes, Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi, and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar are the three finalists. Josi won the award in 2020, and Makar won in 2022. Both were first-time winnners. A Vancouver Canuck player has never won the award.

Hughes was a member of the 2020 NHL All-Rookie team, a two-time All-Star (2020 and 2024), and a five-time winner of the Canucks Babe Pratt Trophy (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, and 2024) voted on by fans and awarded to the best defenseman on the team.

Making the case for Hughes to win the James Morris Memorial Trophy

While repeat winners are frequent, and Josi and Makar would both be repeat winners, there is a good chance Hughes skates away with this prestigious award.

Hughes had 17 goals, 75 assists and 92 points in 82 regular season games. Those were career high numbers for him, but more importantly, he was the leading NHL defenseman in points.

Makar and Josi were second and third respectively with 90 and 85. Makar had 21 goals and 69 assists in 77 games, and Josi had 23 goals and 62 assists in 82 games. The winner will be announced after the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.

Hughes joins teammate and goalie Thatcher Demko in vying for league-wide honors. Demko is nominated for the NHL's Vezina Trophy honoring the best goalie of the 2023-2024 season. In addition to Demko, Florida Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck are the other finalists.

Later this week, the finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Jack Adams Award, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, and Frank J. Selke Trophy will be announced. Next week the Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award finalists will be named.