Niklas Kronwall, age 33, has cemented himself as the Wings' best defenseman since Nick Lidström.
Despite his high-profile hits, Kronwall's impact is, much like Lidström's, not as discussed as the impacts of other Wings' players.
Since debuting for the Wings in the '03-'04 season, Kronwall has steadily grown into a proven leader and player on the team. Along with his growth in the Wings' organization, Kronwall has become one of the best defenseman in the NHL.
Every year, the Norris Trophy is awarded to the best defenseman in the league. Which leads me to the topic of this article, does Niklas Kronwall have a shot at the Norris Trophy?
Let's start out with some stats.
- Kronwall is only one of four Red Wings to have played at least 60 out of the Wings' 65 games this season, with 63 games under his belt. The other three players are Abdelkader (60 games), Quincey (65 games), and Miller (65 games).
- Kronwall is 10th in the NHL in points with 40 points.
- Kronwall is 6th in the NHL in assists with 33 assists.
- Kronwall is 10th in the NHL in power play points with 19 points.
- Kronwall is 7th in the NHL in shifts per game with 31.2 shifts.
He’s the go-to defenseman for the Red Wings and makes opposing forwards keep their heads up because you never know when one of his patented bone-crunching hits will fall. He’s also remarkably consistent: he has the exact same goal and assist totals through 46 games this season as he had through 48 games last.