Avalanche’s Cale Makar honored for best defenseman at NHL awards

Cale Makar
Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar poses with the Norris Trophy after the NHL hockey awards Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. The Norris Trophy is presented annually to the leagues’ best defenseman. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche's Cale Makar took the Norris Trophy for the league’s best defenseman on Tuesday.

Makar led all defensemen with 28 goals while helping the Avalanche finish with a Western Conference-best 119 points (56-19-7). He also had 58 assists and ended the regular season a plus-48, which was fifth best in the NHL.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s Auston Matthews won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player on Tuesday night, beating out Edmonton’s Connor McDavid and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers to win the award for the first time.

Shesterkin claimed the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender and Detroit’s Moritz Seider claimed the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.

Matthews became the first player to score 60 goals since Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos did it 10 years ago, helping the Maple Leafs (54-21-7, 115 points) set franchise records for wins and points. Toronto lost to the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.

The 24-year-old forward also took home the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player in the regular season, an honor determined by voting by members of the NHL Players Association.

Shesterkin became the third Rangers goalie in the past 40 years to win the Vezina, joining Henrik Lundqvist (2011-12) and John Vanbiesbrouck (1985-86). He went 36-13-4 with an NHL-best 2.07 goal-against-average and .935 save percentage before leading a playoff run that ended against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference final.

Seider became the first Red Wings player to win the Calder Trophy since goalie Roger Crozier during the 1964-65 season. He led all first-year defensemen with 50 points and finished ahead of Toronto’s Michael Bunting and Anaheim’s Trevor Zegras in balloting for the award.

The 2019-20 Calder Trophy winner beat out Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman and Nashville’s Roman Josi.

Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom and Nashville’s Juuse Saros were finalists for the Vezina.

Reporting by Fred Goodall