Not too shabby for a second-year player. New York Rangers sophomore Adam Fox has been named the Norris Trophy winner as the best defenseman in the NHL at just 23 years old. Fox was phenomenal in 2020-21, recording 47 points and a +19 rating in 55 games.
Fox joins elite company in taking home the Norris at such a young age. He is now just the second defenseman to win the award in his second season, joining none other than Bobby Orr. Fox is deserving of the honor, too. He led the Rangers in assists and finished fifth in total scoring, while also leading the team in time on ice per game and blocked shots with the second-best plus/minus and takeaways. Although Fox is often pegged as an offensive defenseman – he was second in the NHL in defensive scoring – he did it all for the Rangers in 2020-21.
With all that said, there will be plenty of people who want to argue that either other finalist, Colorado’s Cale Makar or Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman, deserved the Norris this year. Both received considerable support in the voting, but Fox finished with nine more first-place votes than Makar and twice that ahead of Hedman. Makar finished less than 100 voting points behind Fox, making it a tight race, but Hedman was actually closer to Boston’s Charlie McAvoy in fifth than he was to catching Fox.