Gary | Wed 07/12/2016 - 11:13 EST

Calder Award Favorites

Calder Award Favorites
At the beginning of the NHL season, the Calder Trophy race was primarily between two players — Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews and Winnipeg Jets sniper Patrik Laine. While the two rising stars are still leading candidates to capture rookie of the year honors, a few others are making cases to be considered for the coveted award.

NHL Rooke Of The Year Monthly Ladder

By Angelo Montilla

In the second instalment of our Calder Trophy watch, here are five players in the NHL rookie of the year race to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Patrik Laine – Winnipeg Jets

Laine

The Finnish Flash 2.0 has not wasted any time making an impact with the Jets this season. Patrik Laine leads all rookies in points and sits 12th in league scoring.

The right-winger is on pace to net 40-plus goals and 60 points in what’s turned into a remarkable debut season for the Winnipeg rookie. Paddypower.com — an Irish online sportsbook — has Laine as the frontrunner with 17/10 odds to win the Calder Trophy.

Laine is tied for the league lead with seven power-play goals and ranks among the top rookies in shot percentage. What’s amazing about Laine’s story is that he is still only 18 years old. He’s never played more than 46 games in his young career, so it’s still uncertain if Laine can keep up this sizzling pace in a full NHL season.

Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs

Matthews

Playing in a hockey-centric city like Toronto can bring added pressure, especially on rookies. But Matthews has performed well beyond his years in his debut season with the Maple Leafs.

The 2016 No. 1 overall selection fell into a dry spell in October and early November, going 13 games without scoring a goal.

That paved the way for Laine to overtake the American as the favorite to win the Calder Trophy. Matthews has since regained his scoring touch, netting five goals in five games from Nov. 23 to Dec. 3. Paddypower.com is offering 10/3 odds Matthews will win rookie of the year honors.

Matthews leads all rookies in shots and that has certainly translated to the score sheet, where the star forward has 19 points in 24 games played.

Zach Werenski – Columbus Blue Jackets

Werenski

A defenseman comes in at No. 3 as Columbus blue-liner Zach Werenski has thrown his hat into the Calder Trophy race.

There’s only been two defensemen in the last 12 years to win rookie of the year and while the odds may be stacked against Werenski, the Blue Jackets’ rear-guard has certainly performed well enough early in the season to put him in Calder Trophy discussions.

Werenski — a 7/2 underdog to win the award — is fourth among rookies in scoring with 17 points through 24 games and leads all rookie defensemen with eight power-play points.

Werenski is averaging 22:08 of ice time so you can expect his offensive numbers to go up as long as he can stay healthy.

Mitch Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs

Marner

The odds of a Maple Leaf rookie winning the Calder Trophy are pretty good with Mitch Marner also making our top five list.

Marner, whose shown flashes of Patrick Kane throughout the season, is right in the thick of the Calder Trophy race as the Leafs’ forward is tied for second in rookie scoring with 19 points in 24 games.

Right from the start of the season, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock put his trust in Marner, who plays on the top line with James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak. Paddypower.com is offering bettors 5/1 odds Marner will win the Calder Trophy this season.

Matt Murray – Pittsburgh Penguins

Murray

It’s a 17/2 long shot, but you can toss Matt Murray’s name on to the shortlist of Calder Trophy candidates. Through 10 games played, Murray has posted a sixth-best goals against average of 2.01 and a .931 save percentage, which ranks seventh in the NHL.

Murray emerged as the No. 1 goalie for the Penguins, leading the team to a Stanley Cup crown in the process. However, he only played 13 regular-season games in 2015-16, making Murray eligible for the award.

It’s rare for a goaltender to win rookie of the year — it’s only been done 16 times since 1932. However, if Murray can continue this hot stretch throughout the season and into the playoffs, he’ll be a strong candidate to win the Calder.

Calder Trophy Prediction

In the first edition of our rookie of the year watch, Laine came in as the top candidate. Not much has changed since then, with the Jets rookie still leading the race.

Pick: Patrick Laine

Runner-up: Auston Matthews, Zach Werenski

Category : Sports Betting News

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