Owen Power the pick to win the Calder Trophy

Owen Power the pick to win the Calder Trophy

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Normally, races for major NHL awards go to the wire. Sure, we might see a few runaway winners like we did with Igor Shesterkin (Vezina) and Cale Makar (Norris Trophy) last season, but in most seasons these races are pretty competitive until that we deepen the campaign.

Not so much this time.

2023 NHL Awards Odds

Five of the six major awards have odds on favorites as we head into All-Star Weekend.

Connor McDavid has odds of -700 to win the Hart Memorial Trophy (NHL MVP) and -180 to win the Rocket Richard (most goals). Meanwhile, Linus Ullmark is -175 to win the Vézina (best goaltender), and his head coach, Jim Montgomery, is -275 to win the Jack Adams. Seattle’s Matty Beniers is the -200 favorite to win the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.

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In fairness, McDavid would probably have to go even shorter than -700 to win the Hart because he could sit out the rest of the season and still be the winner. It’s also hard to see Montgomery losing his grip on the Jack Adams Trophy after what we saw from the Bruins in the first half.

The race for the Rocket Richard seems to come down to McDavid (41 goals) and the Bruins’ David Pastrnak (38). Still, you’d need better than +220 on Pastrnak, and the only semi-interesting number on anyone in the chasing pack is Jason Robertson at +2000, but he’s eight behind McDavid on FanDuel.

He should also skip Pastrnak, Mikko Rantanen and Tage Thompson. It is curious that Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils, who is tied with Robertson on 33 goals, is priced at just +3300 on PointsBet.

2023 NHL Calder Trophy Pick: Owen Power +3300 (BetMGM)

While most of these races seem to be linked, there is one high prize that seems enticing: Owen Power at +2000 to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.

Power, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Buffalo Sabers in the 2021 NHL Draft, was essentially a co-favorite with Beniers heading into the season but saw his chances drift because his production was lagging behind the other recruits. But even though Power didn’t score in a stunning clip, his game was solid throughout the season.

In fact, the Sabers have been so impressed with Power that only Rasmus Dahlin averages more time on the ice for Buffalo. The former Michigan Wolverine is currently playing 23:25, which is not only the most by any 2022-23 rookie by over two minutes, but would be the most by any rookie since Tyler Myers has averaged 23:44 in 2009-10.

Buffalo Sabers’ number 25 Owen Power takes on Toronto Maple Leafs’ number 91 John Tavares, Getty Images. Do you bet on the NHL?

And the even better news is that Power is starting to produce. The 20-year-old has scored three goals in his last four games and is on 19 points for the season. This rhythm will still have to accelerate and it will be necessary for Beniers to slow down, but it is not excluded.

At this point in the season, it seems quite likely that Beniers will run away with the prize, but Power is one of the few players in the race with a realistic shot.

So you could do much worse than backing it at +3300 on BetMGM. This is a much stronger value than most other books whose consensus line is +2000, with DraftKings as low as +1400.

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