First presented following the 1932-33 season, the Calder Memorial Trophy goes annually to the NHL's top rookie.
In the NHL betting odds, the Calder Trophy can prove to be very lucrative. The unproven quality of each season's crop of first-year talent often turns who will be the NHL rookie of the year into a wide-open race.
Often, a player who isn't on the radar in the NHL Rookie of the Year odds at the start of the season will end up winning the award. Such was the case in 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne won the Calder after posting record 76-76-132 totals.
Who's The Favorite To Be The Rookie Of The Year Now?
When seeking out the best rookie in the NHL, a bettor will be required to analyze a deep list of prospects. While awards like the Hart for the MVP or the Vezina for top netminder generally narrow down to a short list rather quickly into the season, that's not the case with the Calder Trophy.
Due to their inexperience at the NHL level, a player's rookie season will tend to ebb and flow.
Similarly, the odds on the Calder contenders will also frequently change. Recognizing when a player is about to trend upwardly and thus, cause his NHL Rookie of the Year odds to shorten, is a key to successful Calder Trophy betting.
Predictions At The Start Of The 2019-20 NHL Season
Selected 1-2 in the 2019 NHL entry draft, Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Kaapo Kakko of the New York Rangers were the early favourites in the race to see who'll win the Calder Trophy. But that betting line hasn't held to the form charts early into the season.
Two defencemen have jumped up to pace the NHL Rookie of the Year odds - Cole Makar of the Colorado Avalanche and Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks, Jack's older brother. Bodog lists Makar as the 3.40 favourite to win the Calder. The elder Hughes is at odds of 6.00.
Buffalo Sabres right-winger Victor Olofsson is one of those complete surprises to enter the race and is listed at a betting line of 4.50. Olofsson, 24, is a veteran of five seasons playing in the top division of the Swedish Hockey League.
Follow the evolving Calder Trophy odds all season long at any of our partner sportsbooks in order to assess who among these first-year performers will be the best player among the NHL rookies.
NHL Rookie Of The Year Betting
Over the decades of Calder Trophy voting, more than one third of the all-time winners played centre.
This actually makes sense. Centres carry much responsibility as both finisher, playmaker, taking faceoffs, and as the key forward in a defensive role, so they tend to have the puck a lot, produce more points and in general, draw attention to themselves.
“There’s a little bit of that bad taste in my mouth about the outcome last year.” - Jordan Binnington when asked if he felt he deserved to win the Calder Memorial Trophy (Rookie Of The Year) pic.twitter.com/iagds1nUBm
At the other end of the spectrum, defenceman are the least likely position to be recognized as the best NHL player among the rookies. In fact, the Calder Trophy was awarded 30 times before it finally went to a defender when Kent Douglas of the Toronto Maple Leafs won in 1962-63.
You won't locate a single defenceman among the top 50 rookie scorers in NHL history.
Points Do Matter
Putting up points gets a player noticed. In fact, the top four rookie scorers in NHL history all won the Calder Trophy.
Six of the top nine point producers as rookies carried the day in the NHL Rookie of the Year odds. The three who didn't only lost out because they were the NHL's second-leading scorer among first-year players behnd the Calder Trophy winner during their rookie seasons.
Winning Doesn't Matter
Stanley Cup championships and Calder Trophy winners are a rare combination. It's happened on just eight occasions that the best player among the NHL rookies was also on the Stanley Cup-winning team.
Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs (2016-17), Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (2007-08) and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Captials (2005-06) were all Calder Trophy winners who were selected first overall in their draft year.
Hall of Famers Mario Lemieux (1984-85), Denis Potvin (1973-74) and Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) also turned this double.
Why Is The NHL Rookie Of The Year Trophy Called The Calder Trophy?
When it was introduced to the NHL at the start of the 1932-33 season, the trophy for the NHL rookie of the year was known simply as the NHL Rookie Award. Carl Voss of the Detroit Red Wings was the first winner. In 1936, the award was renamed the Frank Calder Trophy after the President of the NHL.
Peter Forsberg captured the Calder Trophy (1994-95), Hart Trophy (2002-03) and Art Ross Trophy (2002-03), one of eight players to win each award at least once.