The NHL season is coming down the homestretch, which means now’s the time to lock in those last-minute regular-season awards bets.
The weather is getting warmer, and the playoffs are right around the corner, and as the action heats up, so too does the buzz surrounding NHL hardware.
The Calder Trophy is one of the few true picks that are still up for grabs, and it’s still up for grabs in the season’s final month. Here’s a look at the 2021-22 race for NHL rookie of the year.
2022 NHL Calder Trophy Odds
Here are the top 6 betting favorites to win the 2022 Calder Trophy as of April 8, 2022. Odds courtesy of BetMGM:
- Moritz Seider, D, Detroit Red Wings (-200)
- Lucas Raymond, LW, Detroit Red Wings (+450)
- Trevor Zegras, C, Anaheim Ducks (+500)
- Michael Bunting, LW, Toronto Maple Leafs (+750)
- Jeremy Swayman, G, Boston Bruins (+1600)
- Tanner Jeannot, LW, Nashville Predators (+3000)
Raymond and Zegras have been the clear favorites all season long, and deservedly so, but Seider is surging toward the trophy while playing major minutes and putting up points on the Detroit blueline.
Seider, who pundits panned when general manager Steve Yzerman selected him with the sixth pick in the 2019 draft, has made Yzerman look like a genius. He has been Detroit’s No. 1 defenseman, is quarterbacking the Red Wings’ top power play unit, averages almost 23 minutes per night and ranks 12th in the league in points among defensemen.
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Zegras authored two of the season’s most memorable plays — his alley-oop pass that set up teammate Sonny Milano’s highlight-reel goal in Buffalo as well as two lacrosse-style goals in Montreal — which only aided his Calder candidacy. He would’ve been a primary favorite anyway since he is near the top of the Anaheim Ducks’ points list.
Raymond is near the top of the surprising Red Wings’ scoring list and was keeping them in the hunt for a playoff spot in the East for most of the season’s first half.
Bunting still has rookie status despite his age (26) and playing in parts of two seasons prior to 2021-22. He has provided much-needed offense playing on Toronto’s top line alongside star centers John Tavares and Auston Matthews at different points this season.
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2022 Calder Trophy Sleeper Bet Picks
The Calder race appears to be confined to three players at this point, but there’s still time for these candidates to get in the mix.
Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (+1600)
Swayman has solidified Boston’s goaltending and carried the Bruins to an almost-guaranteed playoff spot. He ranks fourth in the NHL in goals-against average (2.28) and 12th in save percentage (.918) among qualifying goalies as of April 8.
Swayman’s only issue is he’s splitting time with teammate Linus Ullmark, who has made the same number of starts (33) in Boston’s net as of April 8. But if Swayman keeps up the incredible play he could sneak in as a finalist.
2022 Calder Trophy Prediction
Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks (+500)
We still think the Calder is Zegras’ to lose at this point despite Raymond and Seider’s hard charges to make things interesting.
Zegras checks all the boxes for a Calder Trophy winner. He’s a scoring-line center on a team that overachieved and is near the top of the NHL’s rookie scoring list.
But his execution of the lacrosse goals and alley-oop play are what are likely to put Zegras over the top. Each play captivated the hockey world for the better part of a week, leading to media appearances and social media chatter from non-hockey circles. When voters think of Zegras, they’ll think of those plays and the impact they had on the NHL this year.
If anything, Seider and Raymond’s continued relevance in the race have only enhanced Zegras’ odds, which means more profit when he ends up lifting the hardware come summertime.