Rangers: Will Adam Fox have another Norris-caliber season?

New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period of game one of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden
Jun 1, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) passes the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period of game one of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have been successful defensively over the last few seasons, and a large portion of that success comes from superstar defenseman Adam Fox. Throughout his career, Fox has already won one Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman and has been a finalist for the trophy more than once. Heading into the 2023-24 season, the Rangers look towards Fox for another elite performance.

The Rangers star is entering his prime years

Fox has been an elite defenseman throughout his entire career. Scoring 235 points in 285 games, the young star has come very close to earning a point per game in a very short career.

At just 25 years old, Fox has still yet to enter his prime years. His career high point total came in 2021-22 at 74 points, which creates an incredibly high ceiling as he continues to develop his skills. Point totals are not the main determining factor of an elite defenseman, but they certainly help Fox’s case for another potential future Norris Trophy.

As Fox continues to develop, it’s possible that he will reach a 100-point season in the near future. It may not happen in 2023-24, but the possibility is certainly there.

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Power play time and an elite defensive partner will help boost Fox’s abilities

Outside of elite personal skills, Fox has an abundance of factors on the Rangers that will help contribute to his success. Acting as the quarterback of the Blueshirts’ top power play unit, and having Ryan Lindgren as a solid first-line pairing, will help Fox on his path to his second career Norris Trophy.

The Rangers’ power play was one of the best in the NHL last season, finishing seventh in the league with a 24.1% success rate. Fox has the ability to carry the puck into the offensive zone and set the tempo for any possession the Rangers hold. Outside of bolstering his point totals, Fox’s role on the Rangers’ power play solidifies him as a natural leader and a key generator of the team’s puck movement.

Adam Fox is not only a top-five defenseman in the league today, he’s top two. Since entering the league, Fox ranks second in assists and fourth in points among defensemen while quarterbacking a powerplay that is fifth in the league since he took over.

via Forever Blueshirts

Having Ryan Lindgren as a defensive partner also helps Fox immensely. While Fox tends to focus more offensively, Lindgren takes the role of handling the dirty work in the Rangers’ own zone, staying back and playing more defensively when needed. This does not mean Fox cannot contribute defensively, as he is an elite defenseman all around. However, it gives him an abundance of opportunities to score in situations where other top NHL defensemen would not be able to.

Can Fox make a case for the 2023-24 Norris Trophy?

Based on his career stats and projected scoring this upcoming season, Fox should undoubtedly be in the discussion for this season’s Norris Trophy early on. He’s a certified point producer and assists the Rangers’ in more ways than one.

There are many elite NHL defensemen who will also certainly be in the running, such as Cale Makar and Erik Karlsson, but the league must keep an eye out for Fox as the Rangers make a push for another successful season.