Montreal Canadiens: Should we consider Jeff Petry for the Norris Trophy?

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 30: Jeff Petry Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 30: Jeff Petry Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens defensemen Jeff Petry is off to a fantastic start to the 2021 season. Yes, I know, it’s only been 11 games, but with what we’ve seen in the last three years we can all admit that Jeff Petry is an elite defenseman for the Habs.

Petry is a great defender, acquired in 2015 from the Edmonton Oilers for a couple of draft picks, that can also be an offensive threat. His incredible shot, like we saw against the Vancouver Canucks last Monday can beat goaltenders from quite a distance.

With now 13 points in 11 games and a differential of +13, third in the National Hockey League, Petry is on his way to having his best season so far. When Shea Weber was injured in the 2017-2018 season, Petry was then left to play a more serious role, and he became the number one defenseman for the Habs. Ever since Weber’s injury, Jeff Petry had seasons of 40 points and more.

Last year, Roman Josi won the Norris trophy for the best defenseman in the NHL. John Carlson (Washington Capitals) and Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lighting) were the finalists. With all of the new young defensemen in the league, it might be difficult for a player like Petry to get recognition for his performances, and with solid defensemen such as those who were mentioned before, it would be even more difficult for Petry to win such a prestigious trophy.

However, if Petry continues on this pace and doesn’t get injured, it might just happen. As of right now, the 33-year-old defensemen is scoring approximately 1.2 points per game and averaging around 22 minutes of ice time per night.

Petry currently plays with Joel Edmunson on the second pair and also plays on the first power-play unit, so he has all the tools to perform well. With a much better team than previous years, it might be easier for Petry to make a big impact, and get more recognition this season. Within the last couple of years, it was rare to see Montreal score many goals, but with the current roster the scoring opportunities will help Petry get more points on the board.

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It is still very early to tell but with a great team and consistency, Petry can easily be a contender for the Norris Trophy. It is important for him to play as he is right now and not get injured. With a shorter season, an easy division for the Canadiens, anything is possible!