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Odds to Win the Calder Trophy: Canucks’ Pettersson is the Man to Beat

Elias Pettersson #40 of the Vancouver Canucks enters the ice against the Arizona Coyotes at Prospera Place on September 29, 2018 in Kelowna, Canada.

The influx of young talent in the NHL over the years has been something to behold, as a number of players have stepped in to fill major roles right away on the biggest stage. Ahead of the 2018-19 season, the rookie crop is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve seen in a while, which means the race to win the Calder Trophy could be tight.

At Bovada, Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson is the +300 favorite to win the Calder, with Rasmus Dahlin (+600), Andrei Svechnikov (+600), Eeli Tolvanen (+750) and Casey Mittelstadt (+750) comprising the rest of the top five.

To be considered a rookie in the NHL, a player must not have played in more than 25 contests in any preceding season, nor in six or more NHL games in any of two preceding seasons. Any player who is 26 years old as of September 15 is no longer considered a rookie, regardless of games played.

Pettersson has superstar potential all over him

Pettersson, the Vancouver Canucks’ fifth overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, is widely regarded as the most skilled rookie entering the league this year, and it’s easy to understand why. The 19-year-old went on to have a historical year in the Swedish league, winning the regular-season scoring title while earning the league’s playoff MVP. Pettersson is clearly NHL-ready right now, and considering Vancouver’s lack of top-end talent, expect him to stick around for the long haul from here on out.

Dahlin set to become a household name

The Buffalo Sabres picking Dahlin with the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft was a no-brainer, as the sweet-skating defenseman has all the makings of a franchise blue-liner. While he’s likely going to be the top rookie d-man in the NHL this season, it may be an uphill battle for him to garner the Calder bragging rights. Only two defensemen have won the Calder Trophy in the last 14 years – Aaron Ekblad and Tyler Myers.

Don’t sleep on Zadina

When five teams passed on Filip Zadina in this year’s draft, the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings pounced on him and may have come away with the biggest steal in the draft. The Czech winger was easily the best rookie in the QMJHL last season, posting 44 goals and 82 points in 57 games with the Halifax Mooseheads.

Detroit has historically been patient with its rookies, yet the Red Wings find themselves in a tough spot right now with another long year looming. In light of the unfortunate retirement of longtime Red Wing Henrik Zetterberg, the Wings could badly use an injection of scoring punch and Zadina would certainly help in that category. If Zadina sticks around with the big club, he’s in line to have an excellent debut year in the Motor City.

Odds on which NHL player will win the Calder Trophy in the 2018-19 season
Elias Pettersson+300
Rasmus Dahlin+600
Andrei Svechnikov+600
Eeli Tolvanen+750
Casey Mittelstadt+750
Miro Heiskanen+850
Ryan Donato+950
Anthony Cirelli+1000
Brady Tkachuk+1200
Filip Zadina+1400

Odds as of October 3 at Bovada