Josi revels in Norris Trophy honor

Posted at 10:21 PM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 23:21:12-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Life is good right now if you’re Roman Josi. Winning the Norris Trophy Monday night at the virtual NHL Awards was just the icing on the cake for a year that’s treated the Predators captain much better than most people.

Josi signed an eight-year, $72 million dollar contact extension last October. He and his wife are expecting their first child next Valentine’s Day. And now the 30-year-old is the first player in Predators franchise history to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman.

“It’s a huge honor,” Josi said Tuesday. “Shea (Weber) definitely deserved to win this award. He had some amazing years in Nashville, and I was lucky enough to play with him. Playing with a guy like Shea and watching him and learning from him, it’s unbelievable as a young kid. There’s so many things you can learn from him. There’s been so many great defensemen in Nashville and to be the first one to win the Norris is definitely very humbling.

Josi has been considered an incredible talent since the day he arrived in Nashville nine years ago as a youthful 21 year old. But he has mostly been overshadowed on the team’s blue line, first by Weber, a longtime Preds captain, and then by P.K. Subban, one of the league’s biggest stars and fellow Norris Trophy winner, having won the award during his time in Montreal.

But this season Josi took center stage in Nashville, leading the team in scoring. He scored a career-high 16 goals and set a franchise record for a defenseman with 65 points, despite playing only 69 games in the regular season.

“This year my consistency was a lot better,” Josi said. “I tried to work on my defensive game a lot as well last summer. That was something I wanted to do better and that was one part I really tried to work on. But I think overall, it’s such a long season and I think the consistency was probably the biggest thing for me.”

Josi beat out Washington’s John Carlson and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman to win the Norris. Two guys the humble Swiss star admires, and now takes a seat alongside as one of the best D-Men in the league.

In fact, in 2019-2020 Josi was THE BEST defenseman in the NHL. And that’s a honor he’s still trying to wrap his head around.

“It sounds kind of crazy when you say it like that,” Josi said with a slight chuckle. “I mean there’s so many great defensemen around this league. Guys that won it before me that you compete against. Guys that you watch play and admire, and try to learn from them. It’s pretty surreal to have my name on that trophy.”

Just another reason why life is pretty good for Josi right now.