by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
The Vancouver Canucks’ progress this season – and the organization using patience with the development of Elias Pettersson – paid off in value for bettors at the sportsbooks.
At the outset of the season in October, bookmakers expected little from Vancouver, who had averaged only 72.33 points over the three seasons prior while finishing no higher than sixth in the NHL’s Pacific Division. Vancouver, along with the Arizona Coyotes and Ottawa Senators, had the longest odds to win the Stanley Cup at +7500 (bet $100 to win $7500), according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
While the Cup then, as perhaps now, seemed like a remote possibility, it is worth noting that two teams listed at +5000, the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Islanders, are each still alive in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Canucks also rated +5500 odds on the NHL betting lines to win the Pacific Division. In playoff props, they were -1700 to miss the postseason and +850 to qualify.
Ultimately, the Canucks finished short of the playoffs with 81 points, 12th overall in the 15-team Western Conference, nine points adrift of the Colorado Avalanche who earned the final wild-card berth. But their October over/under for points was 77.5 and they beat it with three games to spare, hitting 78 points with a 3-2 shootout win against the Dallas Stars.
The aforementioned Elias Pettersson also came into the season pegged as the favorite, if not a heavy one, to win the Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year. After being drafted No. 5 overall in 2017, the Swedish forward played at home rather than trying to step directly into the NHL in 2017-18.
The hype generated by Pettersson scoring more than a point per game for Vaxjo HC in a strong European league led to the 20-year-old being installed as a +300 favorite in Calder betting, ahead of No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin (+600) of the Buffalo Sabres and No. 2 overall choice Andrei Svechnikov (+600) of the Hurricanes.
Pettersson led the Canucks in scoring with 28 goals and 66 points across 71 games. Last week, he was named a Calder finalist, along with offensive defenseman Dahlin and St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington. Three of the last five winners have also been No. 1 overall picks, but historically it’s more of a forward’s award, with 10 of the last 13 winners having played up front.
If Pettersson receives the Calder Trophy when it is presented in June, he will be the first winner from the Canucks since Pavel Bure in 1991-92.