2021 Calder Trophy odds: Caufield favored to end Habs' drought
The Montreal Canadiens are a truly historic franchise that has succeeded in pretty much every way imaginable.
However, believe it or not, the Canadiens haven't rostered a Calder Trophy winner since Ken Dryden in the 1971-72 season.
This looks to be the year that changes.
|Odds to win
Only listing players with odds 30-1 or shorter.
Cole Caufield (+300)
There are a lot of unknowns with rookies. You generally can't predict how quickly they'll pick up the NHL game, what kind of role they'll play, or which players they'll skate on a line with prior to getting money down. That's not the case here, which is why we start things out with some chalk.
A lot of these rookies might be good NHL players - we already know Caufield is. He has eight goals and 17 points through 30 games (playoffs included) and is one of the biggest offensive threats on the roster. He actually led all Canadiens in points per minute at five-on-five during their run to the Stanley Cup Final. That was no fluke as he generated scoring chances at a more efficient clip than all but Brendan Gallagher.
Caufield is a dynamic and productive player who will get all the opportunity in the world playing alongside Tyler Toffoli and Nick Suzuki on the top line. As long as he stays healthy, it's hard to see another rookie putting together a better season.
Spencer Knight (+1000)
This is both a pro-Knight play and an anti-Sergei Bobrovsky play. Knight is one of the best prospects in hockey. He was a high pick, dominated the NCAA ranks, and showed well during his cup of coffee with the Florida Panthers late last season.
Simply put, he appears ready for a prominent role at the NHL level. That's good news because the Panthers likely need him to take one.
Bobrovsky, despite his enormous salary, is a subpar goaltender at this stage of his career. While the Panthers aren't going to throw him by the wayside entirely, it's within the realm of possibility he loses his job as the starter.
Should that be the case, you're looking at a top-tier goaltending prospect playing regularly for a team that - if the netminding holds up - could challenge for a division title.
It's a good environment for Knight to pile up wins and enjoy success in his rookie campaign.
Lucas Raymond (+2500)
The Detroit Red Wings are heading for yet another long season. They're a bad hockey team and play in an unforgiving division, featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, and Panthers, among others.
Add in the fact one of their best players, Jakub Vrana, is already out long term with an injury, and the outlook for the Red Wings is even bleaker.
There's always a bright spot, though, and Raymond is destined to be that for Detroit. Last season he averaged more than .50 points per game in the SHL, which is very impressive for an 18-year-old playing in a professional league.
The ultra-talented winger should step into Detroit's lineup immediately and see plenty of ice. Developing youngsters like Raymond is priority No. 1 for the Red Wings. There's even more opportunity to go around with Vrana out of the picture. If you want to take a stab on a wild card, so to speak, Raymond is the guy.
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.