Name: Jeff Norton
Drafted: 3rd Round (62nd overall) in 1984 by the Islanders
Salary: $1.9 million
The Finesse Game
An offensive defenseman, Norton has deep edges and seems to make his turns and cuts with his body set at a 45-degree angle to the ice. His skating ability allows him to cover up for some of his more erratic defensive play. He gets too excited about joining the attack and forgets gap control or makes ill-timed pinches. Many times, he is able to gallop back into position but he still makes a risky defensive proposition. His knee injury may affect his skating, which is his chief asset. His hockey sense is good, especially offensively, but Norton has never been able to combine his skating with the kind of scoring impact he should. He doesn't have a great shot. He will generate a play with his skating and puckhandling and get the puck into the attacking zone, but he never seems to have the finishing touch.
The Physical Game
Norton is not strong in his own end of the ice. On many nights, he will drift up as if he is ready to leave the zone prematurely and leave his teammates scrambling behind. His mental toughness is a question mark, and his focus and concentration waver.
Norton never recovered from a terrible start in Edmonton. Even though he was happy with the trade, he only scored five assists in 13 games with the Lightning.
A fresh start could make a difference, with Norton capable of reaching the 40- to 50-point range.
SOURCE: HOCKEY SCOUTING REPORT