Dallas Stars workhorse Miro Heiskanen is gunning to be the top defenseman in the NHL – and he wants the hardware to back it up.
“That’s one thing I really want to win,” he told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “I want to be the best defenseman in the NHL.”
Heiskanen finished seventh in Norris Trophy voting in 2022-23, a personal best. He broke out offensively with a career-high 73 points in 79 games while averaging a whopping 25:29 per contest – the sixth-highest total of all rearguards league-wide.
“I kind of knew that it is there, that I can score more points and be more involved offensively,” he said. “I think I was able to put it all together. It didn’t take away the defense by playing more offense.”
Prior to this past season, Heiskanen’s career high in points was 36. Despite the offensive surge, he finished behind Erik Karlsson, Cale Makar, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Morrissey, and Dougie Hamilton on the final Norris ballot.
Heiskanen has been tabbed as a franchise defenseman since being drafted third overall in 2017. He broke into the NHL at 19 and has registered 204 points in 354 career games while never averaging fewer than 23 minutes per game over an entire season.
Although he’s motivated to be recognized as the NHL’s top blue-liner, he won’t let his individual goals overshadow the Stars’ championship aspirations.
“It’s the thing I want to win, but I don’t think about it too much during the season,” he said. “It’s like I always say, I try to help my team win the Stanley Cup, but if there is a chance to win the Norris Trophy as well that would be great. Hopefully next year.”
The Stars reached the Western Conference Final this past spring and are expected to be in the mix again with a deep roster that added Matt Duchene in free agency.
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