Nine games into his National Hockey League career, Chicago Blackhawks star rookie Connor Bedard is still the betting favorite to win the Calder Trophy — the league’s rookie of the year award.
Bedard has done his best to live up to the lofty expectations placed on him since the Blackhawks took him first overall in last year’s 2023 NHL Entry Draft.
The 18-year-old shares the NHL’s rookie lead in goals with Minnesota Wild forward Marco Rossi with four in his first nine games.
His six points in the 2023-24 NHL campaign tie him for fifth among rookies in points with fellow 2023 Draftee and third-overall pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets Adam Fantili.
Arizona Coyotes rookie forward Logan Cooley has the league lead in rookie points at eight.
The 2022 third-round pick notched an assist in Arizona’s 8-1 thrashing of the Blackhawks on Monday.
Bedard picked up the opening goal before a monsoon of Coyotes goals overwhelmed Chicago quickly.
It was the first of many matchups between the two rookies that could become one of the NHL’s most anticipated rivalries.
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Pavel Mintyukov has been a big surprise in the rookie scoring race, staring the year in second place at seven points.
The 2022 10th overall pick has a plus/minus of plus-4 on a Ducks team that finds itself above .500 at 6-4-0 through 10 games after finishing last place in the Western Conference last year.
New Jersey Devils defenseman Luke Hughes is also tied for second place at seven points through nine games this year.
Of Hughes’ seven points, five of them are on the power play.
He is a beneficiary of one the league’s top offenses, which is powered by his brother, Jack, who leads the NHL in scoring with 20 points in nine games.
Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Grieg rounds out the group ahead of Bedard with two goals and five points, locking into a three-way tie with Hughes and Mintyukov for second place in the rookie scoring race.
The best nhl sportsbooks still have Bedard with the best odds to take the award as the NHL’s best rookie, though.
Bedard leads the pack at an astounding -150 to win the Calder Trophy and be named the league’s rookie fo the year.
His track record in junior speaks for itself as to why that is the case.
He put up 71 goals and 143 points in 57 games for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League last year.
Bedard had 51 goals and 100 points in 62 games the previous season.
In those two seasons, he proved he is an offensive juggernaut and a player who can change the outlook of a franchise.
And Vegas agrees.
Hughes and Cooley each have the second-best odds to win the Calder Trophy at +750.
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll, who is 3-2-0 with a .942 save percentage and a 1.89 goals-against average, has the fourth-best odds to win the award at +1800.
Fantili (+2000) and Mintyukov (+2200) round out the top half of the favorites to win the award.
Boston Bruins rookie Matt Poitras, who has burst onto the scene with three goals and five points, is also on the board at +2500.