The Vancouver Canucks are set to boast a Calder Memorial Trophy frontrunner in their top six forwards for a second consecutive season.
One year ago, it was Brock Boeser who finished second in Calder voting behind Mathew Barzal. This time it’s Elias Pettersson, currently the odds-on favourite to be named NHL rookie of the year for the 2018-19 campaign, according to oddsmakers at Bodog.
“He makes all the right plays at all the right times,” Canucks teammate Bo Horvat said last week. “To have that patience and that skill at such a young age, he’s going to continue to get better.”
The fifth-overall pick from 2017 went on a tear playing with Växjö in his native Sweden last year and has already made a strong impression throughout training camp and the pre-season. (We’re pretty sure Ryan Strome is still picking up shards of his ankle bones off the ice at Rogers Arena after this nasty move Pettersson pulled off in an exhibition game.)
Pettersson has odds of +400, which puts him ahead of 2018 first-overall pick Rasmus Dahlin of the Sabres and second-overall selection Andrei Svechnikov of the Hurricanes, both of whom sit at +600 odds.
The top 10 is rounded out as follows:
Predators’ Eeli Tolvanen +650
Sabres’ Casey Mittelstadt +750
Stars’ Miro Heiskanen +850
Lightning’s Anthony Cirelli +900
Bruins’ Ryan Donato +1000
Senators’ Brady Tkachuk +1000
Red Wings’ Filip Zadina +1200