NHL 2018/19: Rookie of the Year Odds

NHL 2018/19: Rookie of the Year Odds

NHL futures on this year’s Calder Trophy winner are open, with a few names popping out as great bets to win in 2019. Centers have dominated the award over the last few seasons, with four of the previous six winners coming from that position. This year, a winger opens the season as the favourite and judging by his accolades and experience, it is hard to bet against the 2017 fifth overall pick.

NHL futures on this year’s Calder Trophy winner are open, with a few names popping out as great bets to win in 2019. Centers have dominated the award over the last few seasons, with four of the previous six winners coming from that position. This year, a winger opens the season as the favourite and judging by his accolades and experience, it is hard to bet against the 2017 fifth overall pick.  

Calder Trophy Candidates, Underdogs and Busts

The Favourite – Elias Pettersson (+285)

Drafted in 2017 by the Vancouver Canucks, Pettersson spent last year playing in Sweden. However, he did not spend 2017-18 playing in the Swedish Junior league. Instead, the 2017 fifth overall pick played in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), the highest level of hockey in Sweden.

Pettersson dominated the SHL in his rookie season, leading the league in points, +/- while finishing second in goals.

His contributions during the regular season helped his team, the Vaxjo Lakers, to the playoffs. Pettersson was even better during the playoffs, averaging 1.46 points per game to help the Lakers win the league championship.

However, that is not where the rookie’s accomplishments end. Pettersson played on Sweden’s IIHF 2018 Gold Medal team. The 19-year-old netted a goal and added two assists in five games for Sweden. While he eventually gave way to some top NHL talents joining the team later in the tournament, he still played an essential role for Sweden early in the tournament.

His experience playing high-level hockey, winning a Swedish championship and playing on Sweden’s IIHF roster translates to a player that is NHL ready. Add in the playing time he should receive, with both Sedin brothers retiring, and Pettersson is the best bet to win the Calder Trophy.

Pick: Elias Petterson (+285) to win the Calder Trophy 

Elias Pettersson
Rookie of the Year Odds
+285

The Contender – Rasmus Dahlin (+560)

The first overall pick in the 2018 NHL draft opens the 2018-19 NHL season with the second-best odds of winning the Calder trophy. The defenseman draws comparisons to Nikolas Lindstrom, who ranks amongst the greatest defensemen in NHL history.

While Dahlin’s talent is there, the talent surrounding him is full of question marks. The Sabres did not have a player last season (who played more than ten games) finish with a +/- rating in the positives. The lack of talent on the Sabres could stall the development of Dahlin.

Defensemen also rarely win this award, with only 15% of the winners the last 20 seasons coming from the blue line. However, Buffalo does not have the talent to elevate Dahlin as much as some other teams who drafted a defenseman early in the draft can.  

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

Pump the Brakes On

Brady Tkachuk (+1200)

With injuries concerns entering the season (and likely limiting him in October), Brady Tkachuk chances of winning the Calder Trophy are already dwindling. While the injury is not deemed too severe, the fact it lingers and nags is a little concerning.

As the Ottawa Senators are in no way contending this season, keeping one of their promising young stars healthy for the long haul is much more important than getting him onto the ice every chance they get. Even if he is productive when he plays this season if the Senators limit him or the injury returns, he may not get enough ice-time to hit the production levels needed to win the Calder Trophy.

Ryan Donato (+1000)

Donato cracked the NHL last season but did not play enough to lose his rookie status this year. In 12 games, the former Harvard University product netted five goals and nine points in just 12 games last season and is well-positioned for a successful career in the NHL.

So, why should you pump the brakes on Donato? While Donato looked great for the Bruins last season, unlike most Calder Trophy candidates, the Bruins have enough depth and talent they do not need a breakout season from their rookies to compete.

The Bruins finished top-five in NHL scoring last season, with Donato contributing under 2% of the team’s total goals.

Donato will see more action in 2018-18, but probably not as much as recent Calder Trophy winners have (the last three winners Mathew Barzel Auston Matthews and Artemi Panarin all contributed at least 69 points in their rookie year). 

An “If Everything Goes Right” Underdog

If you want to take a real, deep flyer on a Calder Trophy candidate, consider betting on Edmonton Oilers’ defenseman Evan Bouchard. Bouchard’s Calder Trophy odds fit into the “available upon request” category seen on quality online sportsbooks such as Sports Interaction and Bodog.

Of course, you are now probably wondering why you should even consider a small wager on such a longshot.

Bouchard is a highly talented prospect. His shot and offensive skills are elite for a defenseman (evident by his 25 goals and 87 points with the London Knights last season).

The Oilers are also in desperate need of help on the blue line. The Oilers allowed 263 goals last season, second most in the Western Conference. The Oilers need high and Bouchard is right now one of the answers.

If Bouchard can last more than the first nine games this season (otherwise he has to return to the OHL for the entirety of 2018-19), then he should get the minutes and offensive opportunities to have a Calder Trophy level type of season.