Miro Heiskanen's quest for the Norris Trophy defying expectations

Miro Heiskanen is the talented defenseman of the Dallas Stars and is determined to etch his name in the annals of NHL history

Miro Heiskanen in a file photo [Image Credit: Instagram@miroheiskanen]
By Mohit | Sep 4, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Miro Heiskanen is the talented defenseman of the Dallas Stars and is determined to etch his name in the annals of NHL history by claiming the coveted Norris Trophy. With an unwavering commitment to excellence and a hunger to be recognized as the league’s best defenseman. Heiskanen’s journey is one of perseverance and continual improvement.

In the 2022-23 NHL season, Heiskanen showcased his evolution as a player. Doubling his previous career-high in points, he amassed an impressive 73 points consisting of 11 goals and 62 assists in 79 games. This surge in production underscored his ability to contribute offensively without compromising his defensive responsibilities.

Heiskanen reflects on his growth saying, “I knew I had the potential to score more points and be more involved offensively. It’s about putting it all together without sacrificing defense.

Despite his remarkable season, he ranked third in assists and tied for fifth in points among all NHL defensemen. Heiskanen received only one first-place vote for the Norris Trophy from members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. This result was surprising given his outstanding performance and his ranking as the third player with the most minutes played in the NHL, accumulating over 2,013 minutes of ice time and averaging 25 minutes and 29 seconds per game.

Miro Heiskanen’s quest for the Norris Trophy defying expectations

Erik Karlsson’s historic season where he became the first defenseman in 31 years to surpass 100 points ultimately secured him the Norris Trophy. Karlsson’s trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins marked a significant transition in the award landscape.

Dallas Stars head coach Peter DeBoer passionately advocated for Heiskanen during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, emphasizing that the Norris Trophy should encompass the full spectrum of a defenseman’s contributions. DeBoer’s belief is that a defenseman’s performance should extend beyond scoring, encompassing defensive prowess, penalty killing, shot-blocking, and facing off against the opposing team’s best players night after night.

DeBoer states, “The Norris is for the best defenseman in the League, not just the highest-scoring defenseman. Miro checks all the boxes.”

While Heiskanen’s bid for the Norris Trophy may have garnered attention recently, his journey to becoming a top defenseman in the league has been marked by consistent progress. He previously finished 12th in Norris voting in both the 2019-20 and 2021-22 seasons. However, it was his remarkable improvement in the 2022-23 season that truly catapulted him into the conversation for the award.

Heiskanen’s ambitions extend beyond individual recognition. He is unequivocal about his primary goal of helping the Dallas Stars secure the Stanley Cup. However, the Norris Trophy remains a coveted accolade and Heiskanen’s determination to elevate his game further is unwavering.

The 2023-24 NHL season holds immense promise both for Heiskanen and the Stars as a whole. He acknowledges the need to add more goals to his repertoire a focus he’s diligently addressed during the offseason by refining his shot and increasing his shooting strength.

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