Last year’s top rookie was Moritz Seider of the Detroit Red Wings, representing yet another stroke of genius from GM Steve Yzerman, who picked the German defender sixth overall in 2019. Analysts and Seider didn’t think he’d go till much later in the first round.
The 20-year-old defenseman recorded 50 points in 2021-22 for an admittedly weak but improving Red Wings side. That production was fourth among rookies, regardless of position.
For 2022-23, another defenseman is fancied to win top rookie honors. According to sportsbook Bodog, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power leads the oddsboard at +400 along with Anaheim Ducks center Mason McTavish. San Jose Sharks forward William Eklund rounds out the top three at +500.
Let’s take a look at the rest of the list.
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2022-23 Calder Trophy Odds
|Mason McTavish||Anaheim Ducks||+400|
|Owen Power||Buffalo Sabres||+400|
|William Eklund||San Jose Sharks||+500|
|Kent Johnson||Columbus Blue Jackets||+550|
|Matthew Beniers||Seattle Kraken||+700|
|Jack Quinn||Buffalo Sabres||+800|
|Shane Wright||Seattle Kraken||+850|
|Juraj Slafkovsky||Montreal Canadiens||+1000|
|Marco Rossi||Minnesota Wild||+1100|
|Aatu Raty||New York Islanders||+1200|
|Wyatt Johnston||Dallas Stars||+1400|
|Jake Neighbours||St. Louis Blues||+1500|
|Simon Edvinsson||Detroit Red Wings||+1500|
|Jake Sanderson||Ottawa Senators||+1500|
|Fabian Lysell||Boston Bruins||+1500|
Odds as of August 28 at Bodog
NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Favorites
Mason McTavish (+400)
The 2021 third overall pick just didn’t stop scoring last season, at every level. He played nine games at the NHL level, scoring three points. At the AHL level, he put up two points in three games. With the OHL Peterborough Petes and Hamilton Bulldogs, he scored 20 goals and 47 points in 29 games. Internationally, he captained Team Canada to a World Juniors gold medal with 17 points in seven games. Scoring is all he did.
Which matters a lot when it comes to the NHL Calder Trophy odds. Of the last five winners, only two weren’t the top-scoring rookie: Moritz Seider in 2021-22 (fourth in rookie scoring) and Cale Makar in 2019-20 (second in rookie scoring).
McTavish will join an Anaheim side that’s young and full of offensive talent. Trevor Zegras finished ’21-22 with 61 points in 75 games while linemate Troy Terry scored 37 goals and 67 points, also in 75 games. McTavish will slide into that young and talented Anaheim top six.
At 5-on-5, playing with center Ryan Strome will give McTavish a steady veteran presence who knows how to set up teammates. Over the past three seasons, Strome has 109 assists in 200 games with the New York Rangers. Having Strome to lean on is exactly what a young and budding McTavish needs to start putting up points.
Owen Power (+400)
The first overall pick in 2021 had a heck of a year playing for the University of Michigan with 32 points in 33 games from the back end. The big six-foot-six, 215-pound defenseman is ready to make an impact at the NHL level in 2022-23.
Don’t forget that Power had a solid opening to his NHL career. In eight games at the end of the 2021-22 season, Power led all Buffalo skaters in time on ice with 142:55 even-strength minutes and scored three points in eight games.
The Calder hasn’t been awarded to defensemen in back-to-back years since 1964 when Jacques Laperriere won it following Kent Douglas’ Calder-winning 1963 season. There’s no reason that can’t change this year with Owen Power.
NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Best Bet
Matthew Beniers (+700)
Opportunity and production. The two keys in Calder odds. Matty Beniers will certainly get plenty of opportunities with the Seattle Kraken. The second overall pick in 2020 scored 43 points in 37 games for the University of Michigan, then added nine points in 10 games with the Kraken at the end of the 2021-22 NHL season.
In those 10 NHL games, Beniers played mainly with Jordan Eberle and Ryan Donato. In 2022-23 he’s projected to play on the Kraken’s top line with wingers Andre Burakovsky and Oliver Bjorkstrand. With all due respect to Eberle and Donato, Beniers’ new wingers would be upgrades.
At +700 our odds calculator gives the Kraken center implied odds of 12.50 percent of winning the Calder Trophy in 2022-23. But a winning $100 bet for a player who will have the opportunity to produce next to some talented wingers would return a nice $700 profit.
NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Long Shots
Marco Rossi (+1100)
There’s no doubt that Marco Rossi can put up points. In 56 games with the Ottawa 67s during his draft year, he put up 120 points. Last year, Rossi was seventh in scoring among rookies in the AHL with 18 goals and 53 points in 63 games.
Will he get enough playing time? The last five forwards to win the Calder not only scored a ton but got the chance to do so with significant minutes. None of those last five Calder-winning forwards averaged less than 17:38 of ice time per game (that was Auston Matthews in 2016-17). The problem for Rossi is that he’s arguably fourth on the Minnesota Wild’s center depth chart and if that holds for the regular season, his playing time will reflect that.
But if Rossi can get a spot on the wing in the Wild’s top six, he’s an excellent pick to win it. A winning $100 bet would net you a $1,100 profit.
Aatu Raty (+1200)
He’s going to have to make the team first. New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello has stated a number of times in his career as an NHL executive that you can never bring up a prospect too late, but you can bring him up too early. Raty will get the chance to make the Islanders’ veteran-heavy squad, but it seems unlikely that he ultimately will.
If he does, he’ll hit the Islanders squad after being one of the top players in Finland with 40 points in 41 games for Jukurit and after being one of the top players at the 2022 World Juniors with 10 points in seven games.
If he makes the club, Raty could see a cushy third-line deployment with veterans like Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Zach Parise. Those players were excellent at creating opportunities in 2021-22 with a 51.72 and 49.28 HDF% for the Isles, ranking them second and fifth respectively among Isles forwards. That would be an ideal deployment for a player learning the ropes in the NHL who has an eye for the goal and the puck skills necessary to open up any game.
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