Erik Karlsson Deserves More Credit Than He Gets


No you are not dreaming. Erik Karlsson did in fact win his second Norris Trophy at the young age of 25! It was quite an exciting moment to see him win once again, and it’s hilarious to see people who hate him get even more upset. For some reason, he’s an extremely polarizing player. There are those who appreciate his skills (like almost all Senators fans), but there are also those who see him as nothing more than a forward that can’t play a lick of defense.

We know the complete opposite is true, and Karlsson deserves way more credit than he actually gets.

There’s a reason that fans don’t vote on awards, and it’s because so many of them are irrational. The Professional Hockey Writers Association are much smarter than the average fan, and they know that Karlsson is a world-class player. There’s an easy argument that he’s the best defenseman in the league right now, and he’s been one of the best—of all time.

Let’s look at the all-time Norris Trophy count:


This isn’t updated to show Karlsson’s second win, but you’ll notice that if you add his second, he moves all the way up to tied for 9th all-time in Norris wins. Five defenseman have won the trophy twice, and overall 13 have won it at least twice.

The only other active player that has won it twice? Duncan Keith, aka the 2015 Conn Smythe winner. It’s absolutely ludicrous that some people don’t think Karlsson is one of the best if not the best defenseman in the game today. If you don’t believe there’s still criticism about him, just search “Karlsson” and “joke” on Twitter.

It really is funny to see people get upset about it, because I guarantee if he was on their team they would absolutely love Karlsson.

That said, you can’t argue with the facts and what Karlsson has done at the age of 25 is quite impressive:

Furthermore, it’s not like his career is over. I would put money down that he gets at least one other Norris before his career ends, and I don’t see why he can’t finish with at least four to put him amongst the top five defensemen of all-time. He has plenty of time to break some records and I wouldn’t underestimate him.

Of the 13 players who have won multiple Norris’, 10 of them are in the Hall of Fame, and the other two (besides Karlsson) are Nicklas Lidstrom and Duncan Keith, who are also shoo-in’s for the Hall of Fame. That’s obviously an elite group that is the cream of the crop, and unless Karlsson’s play falls of a cliff he will end up being an easy selection to the Hall of Fame in 15-20 years.

Apr 19, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) before game three against the Montreal Canadiens of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

He has already won two Norris trophies, so you can’t argue about how well he has played in those two seasons. Because of that, there’s no question he has already put himself amongst the top 10-15 defensemen of all-time, so how on earth does he not get more credit?

The other thing that people forget is that in the lockout shortened 2012-13, PK Subban won the Norris. However, Karlsson got injured in mid-February that season and played in only 17 games. I have no doubts that he would have won the award in 2013 as well, because before the injury he looked better than ever. It wasn’t until these last six months that he looked that good again and if Matt Cooke hadn’t stepped on his achilles he might have had three trophies by now.

Many people are angry that he’s a one-dimensional defenseman that can’t defend. He has that reputation amongst casual fans, and it’ll be hard to lose that label. But offensively he is a generational talent, so why does that not make him valuable? If he can contribute to an extraordinary amount of goals scored and therefore limit time in the offensive zone from the opponents, why is he not the best defenseman?

I’ve had enough of people not realizing how good Karlsson really is

I have no issues with others saying that Drew Doughty or PK Subban are up there with Karlsson, because it’s true. But he doesn’t deserve the hate that people spew at him just because he isn’t as physical as someone like Shea Weber (who, by the way isn’t nearly as good as Karlsson).

Fans always say that results trump everything else, and that people look into the numbers too much. Well the fact is that Karlsson is tied for the 9th most Norris wins, and he’ll most likely end up higher by the time his career is over. There’s some results for you. That deserves some serious recognition, and I’ve had enough of people not realizing how good he really is.

We are watching a generational player that is a sure thing for the Hall of Fame. Ottawa fans love him like they should, but lots of other fan bases have a vendetta against him for some reason. Just appreciate his fantastic play instead of ridiculing him.

Next: Ottawa Senators Poor Contracts: An Off-Season Rant

More from SenShot