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NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Zegras Leads Crop Of Rookies

Ducks forward Trevor Zegras is the favorite in NHL Calder Trophy odds.

A new crop of rookies are ready to display their talents as the start of the NHL season is just a few short weeks away. Oddsmakers are already looking ahead to who the best of those rookies might be, and Anaheim Ducks forward Trevor Zegras is the early favorite in NHL Calder Trophy odds.

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Online sportsbook Bovada has Zegras listed at EVEN odds to win the award, followed by Cole Caufield (+200), Lucas Raymond (+300), Alex Newhook (+400) and Vasily Podkolzin (+750) to round out the top five selections on the oddsboard.

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NHL Calder Trophy Odds

Odds to Win the 2021-22 Calder Trophy
PlayerOdds
Trevor ZegrasEVEN
Cole Caufield+200
Lucas Raymond+300
Alex Newhook+400
Vasily Podkolzin+750
Spencer Knight+800
Moritz Seider+1000
Quinton Byfield+1200
Vladimir Tkachev+1200
Nick Robertson+1600
Matt Boldy+1800
Jamie Drysdale+2500

Odds as of September 2 at Bovada

Why Zegras Is The favorite

Drafted ninth overall in the 2019 NHL Draft, Trevor Zegras made an immediate impact by scoring over a point per game in his one and only season at Boston University.

Zegras followed that up about a year later with a dominant showing at the 2021 World Junior Hockey Championship where he led the tournament in scoring with seven goals and 18 points in seven games, winning the MVP and leading his team to a gold medal in the process. It was apparent to anyone who watched that event that the Ducks might have a special player on their hands.

Zegras then went on to score 10 goals and 21 points in 17 games with Anaheim’s AHL affiliate in San Diego before putting up three goals and 13 points in a 24-game stint with the Ducks.

Zegras’ exceptional blend of movement and playmaking should make him a high-end offensive threat right away this season on a Ducks team that will likely deploy him in a top-six role with plenty of power-play time.

It might not be long before these EVEN odds dip into the minuses.

NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Top Contenders

Alex Newhook (+400)

The 16th pick in the 2019 draft, Alex Newhook was picked one spot after Caufield and has taken a similar route to the NHL. Newhook started last season playing his final year at Boston College where he was over a point per game, and then had a brief stint in both the AHL (nine points in eight games) and NHL (three points in six games).

Newhook certainly has the talent to win the Calder and has been a high-level scorer everywhere he has played. But his situation with the Avalanche is likely what makes him more of a long shot than the players above.

As a 20-year-old rookie, it’s unlikely Newhook will be given top minutes at even strength or on the power play on Colorado’s stacked roster. Unlike Zegras or Caufield, he won’t be counted on to be a major contributor right away with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen patrolling the ice.

However, if Newhook plays his way into an opportunity to skate with his elite teammates, it could be a boost to his point production.

Vasily Podkolzin (+750)

The only player on our list yet to have played a game in the NHL, Podkolzin is an exciting prospect with a rare blend of skill and size. At six-foot-four and more than 200 pounds, Podkolzin should have no trouble fitting into the NHL game from a physicality standpoint.

As far as offensive production goes, it’s hard to project players who have not spent much, if any, time playing on North American ice. And the opportunity he will get on a Vancouver roster with plenty of high-end offensive players remains to be seen.

But betting on a player with Podkolzin’s skill set at +750 is a worthy gamble. He could be relegated to a lesser role as the team eases him in. Or he could earn a chance to play with other top talents and become a force right away.

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Best Bet: Cole Caufield (+200)

While points aren’t everything when it comes to choosing a Calder winner, it should not be shocking if the winner ends up being the rookie points leader. And while Zegras should be the rightful favorite to lead the rookies in points, Caufield should be the favorite to lead them in goals.

Caufield played on three different teams last season: the University of Wisconsin, the AHL’s Laval Rocket and the Canadiens. He played a combined 43 games and scored 37 goals, including 30 in 31 games in college. Caufield then chipped in four goals and 12 points in 20 playoff games with the Habs.

The kid can simply put the puck in the net. Despite his diminutive stature, Caufield is difficult to defend with his deceptive, slippery skating style and lightning-quick release. It shouldn’t surprise anyone if Caufield scores 20-plus goals on the Habs’ top line this season.