Calder Trophy Odds (NHL Rookie of the Year Odds): Cale vs. Quinn. Buckle Up!
By: Ryan Gilbert
As we head into the final quarter of the NHL season, some awards are already locked up (looking at you John Carlson and the Norris Trophy) while others are entirely up for grabs. The Calder Trophy odds keep getting tighter and tighter as a pair of rookie defensemen are neck and neck looking to outdo one another. So the question is, can Cale Makar hold off Quinn Hughes in the 2020 NHL Rookie of the Year Odds race?
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Cale Makar (Calder Trophy Odds/NHL Rookie of the Year Odds: -160)
Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was, and is, the odds-on favorite to win the Calder Trophy for most of the 2019-20 season. He had the lead in points and is on a team with a dynamic offense; so he should keep that lead, right?
Well, it’s been a tough road as of late for Makar as fellow defenseman Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks has caught up to him… and may have passed him.
Makar has slowed down immensely since early in the season, wich may be partially due to an injury he suffered in December.
In October and November, he combined for a total of 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) in as many games. However, since then, he has 20 points in 29 games. He had three points in six December games, eight points in nine January games, and nine points in 15 games in February. He did, however, close out the month with points in back-to-back games. He had gone three games without a point prior to that.
Makar is still near the top of the leaderboard in most statistical categories. He has 12 goals and 35 assists for 47 points in 56 games. That puts him second among rookies in points, only to the aforementioned Hughes, who has four more points in seven more games. Makar is also second in assists to Hughes, who has eight more assists in seven more games.
However, due to the difference in games played, Makar does have a higher points-per-game of 0.84 than Hughes, who has 0.81 points-per-game.
The final month of the season is going to be huge in deciding who wins the Calder Trophy, but I wouldn’t bet on Makar at -160. Wait and see if his odds get to +100 or better.
Quinn Hughes (Calder Trophy Odds/NHL Rookie of the Year Odds: +100)
Quinn Hughes has been on fire recently to catapult himself into first place among rookies in scoring. The Vancouver Canucks defenseman has 51 points (eight goals, 43 assists) in 63 games.
Hughes has been incredible since the New Year. He had 10 points in 12 October games and 12 points in 14 November games before slowing down in December, when he had six points in 13 games. Since then, he had eight points in 11 January games and concluded his February with 15 points in 13 games.
Hughes leads all rookies in points and assists and is playing big minutes for the Canucks. The defenseman averages 21:48 per game, nearly a minute more than Makar (21:00).
Makar and Hughes are 50/50 at best at this point, with Hughes perhaps leaning more toward the 60/40 side. If you can get in on Hughes at even odds, go for it.