Adam Fox Brings Home the Norris Trophy
One of the major bright spots for the New York Rangers this past season was the strong play of Adam Fox. His play was recognized last night when he became the first Ranger to win the Norris Trophy since Brian Leetch. In addition, Adam Fox is the second player ever win the Norris Trophy before their third season. The only other player to accomplish that feat is Bobby Orr. Anytime your name is mentioned alongside Brian Leetch or Bobby Orr, you are doing something right.
The James Norris Memorial Trophy goes to first-time winner, Adam Fox (@foxyclean), after a fantastic 2020-21 campaign! #NHLAwards pic.twitter.com/Uh7tDD5miD
— NHL (@NHL) June 29, 2021
How did we get here?
Adam Fox grew up in Jericho, New York as a Rangers fan. He played his college hockey at Harvard and was drafted 66th overall by the Calgary Flames in the 2016 NHL Entry draft. His rights were sent with Dougie Hamilton to Carolina two years later. However, it became apparent that Fox would not sign with the Hurricanes and would instead elect to become a college free agent. However, the Rangers traded for his rights before that could happen. They gave up a second round pick and a third round pick before signing him to an entry level contract.
Adam Fox made an impact on the ice as soon as he stepped onto the Garden ice for the first time. His hockey skill and IQ was obvious and he made the Rangers defense better overnight. He tallied 42 points in his rookie season. He put up 8 goals and 34 assists while also playing shut down defense. While on the ice, he helped the Rangers control the puck. The Rangers controlled the puck more often than not while Fox was on the ice. This can be partly attributed to his play in his own zone and his own puck handling skills in the neutral and offensive zones.
This past season, the league really took notice of Adam Fox. He was one of the leading point getters amongst all NHL defenseman with 47 points. He only had 5 goals, but made up for it with 42 assists. Fox quarterbacked the powerplay, finishing with 23 points on the man advantage. Perhaps his highest honor from this season was being selected for the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award. Since the 1987-88 season, the fans vote on who is the player that goes above and beyond in their service to their team. It is a very prestigious honor amongst Ranger players, and now Adam Fox can add his name to the list. Previous winners include Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan, Mark Messier, Wayne Gretzky, and Adam Graves.
Adam Fox showed he belongs in the elite echelon of NHL defenseman. Anyone who voted for Victor Hedman over Adam Fox needs to re-evaluate the way they evaluate defenseman. His first place votes were based on the name alone. Personally, it would have been nice to see Charlie Mcavoy be named a finalist instead of Hedman. However, the NHL is still years behind every other sport when it comes to evaluating talent. Despite this, Adam Fox still managed to win the Norris Trophy. He is already the best defenseman the Rangers have had since Brian Leetch. The 23 year old Fox is only getting started in what should be a very decorated career with the New York Rangers.
-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)
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