by OddsShark (@OddsShark)
As the No. 5 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, there have been high expectations for centre Elias Pettersson set by the Vancouver Canucks. During the 2018-19 NHL regular season, the 20-year-old Pettersson showed that he might have been a steal after totalling 66 points (28 goals and 38 assists) for the Canucks, making him the favourite on the odds to win the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie.
Pettersson is also fortunate that goaltender Jordan Binnington of the St. Louis Blues did not make his first start for them until January 7. Otherwise, Binnington might be the -5000 favourite (bet $5000 to win $100) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Instead, those odds belong to Pettersson while Binnington is the +650 second choice (bet $100 to win $650) and 2018 top overall pick Rasmus Dahlin is a distant third at odds of +2200.
Even though Vancouver did not compete for a playoff spot, the team’s future is bright thanks to a leading scorer in Pettersson who is one of the Pacific Division’s best players.
Binnington’s numbers were still outstanding (24-5-1, 1.89 goals-against average) during the regular season and would have been worthy of contending for the Vezina Trophy as well as the NHL’s best goalie had he played a full campaign before leading the Blues on their long postseason run to the Stanley Cup Final.
Meanwhile, Dahlin, a defenseman for the Buffalo Sabres, had 44 points (nine goals and 35 assists) and played an average of more than 21 minutes in all 82 games. Any other year, the 19-year-old Swede might be the front-runner to take home the award, and it might have helped if the Sabres did not fade from playoff contention following a strong start. Still, playing right away has given him great experience as the future No. 1 defenseman in Buffalo. The Sabres got exactly what they wanted from him as the top overall pick