The race for the Calder Cup in the NHL is usually wide open. As is the case in MLB or the NFLThe betting market is mainly shaped by the preconceived hype from the media and fans. There will always be prospects with fandoms and media outlets, but the truth is that these are (mostly) teenagers, and at this age, anyone can guess how they’re performing in their rookie season.
Take last year, for example. Montreal Canadiens’ Cole Caufield was the favorite to enter the season after performing for the Habs in the playoffs the previous spring. By the time opening night came, the media had already engraved Caufield’s name into the cup. As it turns out, Coffield had a hard time scoring just one goal in the first few months of the season before it flared up when the Canadians made a change of training.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, Moritz Cedar won the eventual winner NHL Like a duck in the water despite the fact that he was considered an access when he was drafted as sixth overall in 2019.
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The point is, the best thing to do when hindering a Calder Trophy is not to get caught up in the hype and just assume it’s going to be a runaway for one of the players at the top of the board.
This season, we’ll be hearing a lot about favorites Mason McTavish (+400), Owen Power (+450) and Matty Beniers (+500), and while one of those players can certainly escape with the cup, play the odds. This sale in a market with such great variance will not provide much value. Instead, we’ll shop at the bottom of the list:
2022-23 Calder Cup odds in the National Hockey League, selects:
Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights (+2000, House 365)
The Golden Knights are already dealing with a crisis aimed at achieving goals. Robin Lehner is off season. Laurent Prosuite returns from a thigh injury and the team is trying to get rid of his salary. Career backup Adin Hill was acquired from San Jose in a desperate move to prop up the situation. Then there’s Logan Thompson, the rookie netball player who kept Vegas in the playoffs with an impressive 19 games last spring.
The 25-year-old netminder scored 0.914 saves and +2.2 above-expected saves in that period and impressed the riders enough that they seem willing to do whatever they can to trade Brossoit and give Thompson the chance to play plenty of games. If he gets that chance and succeeds as he did last spring, he will be running on a lot of ballots.
JJ Peterka, Buffalo Sabers (+5000, House 365)
Playing on a team with 2021 first pick Owen Power, Petrka would naturally fly under the radar a bit at the Calder Trophy (another saber, Jack Quinn, +1600 to win the prize). But ignore Peterka at your own risk. The 20-year-old German was excellent in his first season in North America last year, scoring 80 points in 80 AHL games (including the playoffs). The jump from Europe to AHL is usually very difficult, but Petrka passed the test with confidence. He’s going to stand out pretty high on him and he won’t be competing for a playoff place this season, so I expect Petrka to get a lot of chances in 2022-23.
Dylan Holloway, Edmonton Oilers (+5000, House 365)
This is a very simple one. There’s a good chance Holloway won’t break his camp with the Oilers, but he’s almost certain to play a long time for the big club in 2022-23, meaning he could end up playing Conor McDavid or Leon Drysitl. If that happens, and Holloway develops chemistry with McDavid or Drysittel, his production ceiling is very high. There must be a lot of things that have to go well for this person to have legs, but it’s worth a flyer on that number.