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Sharks Teammates Burns, Karlsson Have Best Odds to Win 2020 Norris Trophy

Brent Burns warming up with the Sharks
Is Brent Burns in line to win his second Norris Trophy in the last four years? Photo by mark6mauno (Flickr) [CC License]
  • Sharks defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson and the top-two 2020 Norris Trophy favorites
  • Burns won the award in 2017, while Karlsson is a two-time winner (2012 & 2015)
  • Morgan Reilly is an intriguing long shot at +3000

The San Jose Sharks roster features two of the NHL’s premier defensemen and that isn’t going to change anytime soon. Both Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson are under contract in San Jose until at least 2025 and both are front runners for the 2020 Norris trophy.

2020 Norris Trophy Odds

Player Odds at Bovada*
Brent Burns (Sharks) +450
Erik Karlsson (Sharks) +600
Victor Hedman (Lightning) +650
P.K. Subban (Devils) +1100
Mark Giordano (Flames) +1200
Drew Doughty (Kings) +1400
John Klingberg (Stars) +1400
John Carlson (Capitals) +1800
Alex Pietrangelo (Blues) +2000
Kris Letang (Penguins) +2000
Seth Jones (Blue Jackets) +2000
Tyson Barrie (Leafs) +2000
Zach Werenski (Blue Jackets) +2000
Roman Josi (Predators) +2500
Torey Krug (Bruins) +2500
Morgan Rielly (Leafs) +3000

*Odds taken on 09/17/19.

Burns, the 2017 recipient, has the shortest 2020 Norris Trophy odds, followed closely by two-time winner Karlsson and 2018 recipient Victor Hedman of the Lightning.

Only 13 defensemen in NHL history have won the award multiple times, and Karlsson is looking to become just the ninth three-time winner.

The Case for Karlsson

A groin injury during the 2018-19 season limited Karlsson’s production, but he still managed to put up 45 points in 53 games. He was one of just eight defensemen to average at least 0.85 points per outing and he was dominant in the playoffs before the same groin injury ended his postseason early.

Not only has he won the Norris Trophy twice, but he’s also been a finalist on multiple occasions. Assuming he stays healthy, he’ll definitely be in contention, but he’s nowhere near as enticing as his teammate.

Bet on Burns?

Burns was the only defensemen last season to average at least a point per game (1.01) and has legitimate 30-goal upside. He’s out-produced Karlsson offensively in three straight seasons and is a much bigger contributor in his own end.

He nearly doubled his teammate in blocked shots, plus/minus, and hits, and he’s finished top-two in scoring among defensemen in five straight seasons. There’s no better bet to be a Norris Trophy finalist next season, but if you’re looking for a player with longer odds to back, consider the Maple Leafs’ number-one blue liner.

Rielly is a Steal

Morgan Rielly emerged as an elite defensemen last season and is poised for even more production in 2019-20. He led all d-men with 20 goals and had a better plus/minus than Karlsson and Burns combined.


He was top-five in Norris voting a season ago, and is way underpriced at +3000, tied for the 16th-longest odds on the board. He’ll quarterback one of the best power play units in the league and will rack up a ton of points simply by feeding stars like Tavares, Matthews, and Marner.

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