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NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Caufield Leads Crop Of Rookies

Cole Caufield is the current favorite in Calder Trophy Odds.

A new crop of rookies are ready to display their talents with the NHL season underway. Oddsmakers are looking ahead to who the best of those rookies might be, and Montreal Canadiens forward Cole Caufield is the current favorite in NHL Calder Trophy odds very early in the season.

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Online sportsbook Bovada has Caufield listed at +225 odds to win the award, followed by Trevor Zegras (+500), Spencer Knight (+800) and Moritz Seider (+900) to round out the top four selections on the oddsboard.

Let's take a look at the rest of the list.

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NHL Calder Trophy Odds

Odds to Win the 2021-22 Calder Trophy
Cole Caufield (Canadiens)+225
Trevor Zegras (Ducks)+500
Spencer Knight (Panthers)+800
Moritz Seider (Red Wings)+900
Alex Newhook (Avalanche)+1000
Alex Nedeljkovic (Red Wings)+1000
Vasily Podkolzin (Canucks)+1400
Jamie Drysdale (Ducks)+1500
Shane Pinto (Senators)+1500
Quinton Byfield (Kings)+1600
Vladimir Tkachev (Kings)+2000
Nick Robertson (Maple Leafs)+2000
Philip Tomasino (Predators)+2000
Michael Bunting (Maple Leafs)+2000
Jeremy Swayman (Bruins)+2000
Lucas Raymond (Red Wings)+2000
William Eklund (Sharks)+2000
Matt Boldy (Wild)+2500

Odds as of October 18 at Bovada

NHL Calder Trophy Odds: Top Contenders

Cole Caufield (+225)

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 might be the rightful favorite to lead 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.

Jeremy Swayman (+2000)

Longtime Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask remains unsigned as he recovers from offseason hip surgery, leaving new addition Linus Ullmark and the rookie Swayman as Boston’s tandem to start the season.

Ullmark got a four-year, $20-million deal from the Bruins in the offseason and was the assumed starter with Rask and former backup Jaroslav Halak both gone. 

But it was Swayman who got the opening-night start for the B’s after a stellar preseason, and the rookie has the look of a potential starter. 

We expect Ullmark will get significant playing time this season if healthy, but if Swayman steals the job with his play and at least forces the team to deploy a 50-50 time share, the rookie will be in a great spot to take home the Calder Trophy. 

At +2000 with 10 players ahead of him in Calder Trophy odds, Swayman is a great value as the potential starter for a quality team.

Vasily Podkolzin (+1400)

Podkolzin is an exciting prospect with a rare blend of skill and size. At six-foot-four and more than 200 pounds, he 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 (he has been slotted onto the third line early in the season).

But betting on a player with Podkolzin’s skill set at +1400 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: Trevor Zegras (+500)

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.

He 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.

The young forward was the preseason favorite with EVEN Calder Trophy odds, so he’s a screaming value at +500 just a couple of games into the season.