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Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov Moves Past Lafreniere, Shesterkin in Updated Calder Trophy Odds

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in NHL Hockey

Jan 18, 2021 · 2:27 PM PST

Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov controls the puck against the Los Angeles Kings during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
  • Kirill Kaprizov has overtaken Alexis Lafreniere and Igor Shesterkin as the favorite in the Calder Trophy odds
  • Kaprizov was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week after an impressive two-game debut
  • See the updated Calder Trophy odds along with betting analysis below

23-year-old Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov is making quick ground in the 2021 Calder Trophy race. The young Russian is now the favorite in the Calder Trophy odds after an impressive two-game start to his NHL career.

Kaprizov has overtaken preseason favorites Alexis Lafreniere and Igor Shesterkin, who have both underwhelmed for the New York Rangers in the early goings of the NHL season.

Should you bet on Kaprizov before he becomes an even bigger favorite, or is there better value with a player further down the board?

2021 Calder Trophy Odds

Player Odds
Kirill Kaprizov (Wild) +200
Alexis Lafreniere (Rangers) +500
Igor Shesterkin (Rangers) +500
Josh Norris (Senators) +700
Tim Stuetzle (Senators) +800
Nils Hoglander (Canucks) +900
John Leonard (Sharks) +900
Yegor Sharangovich (Devils) +1100
Ilya Sorokin (Islanders) +1150
Dylan Cozens (Sabres) +1600
Gabriel Vilardi (Kings) +1600
Barrett Hayton (Coyotes) +1700
Alexander Romanov (Canadiens) +1700
Bowen Byram (Avalanche) +1800
Trevor Zegras (Ducks) +2000

Odds taken Jan. 18 at DraftKings

Kaprizov’s Electric Start 

Kaprizov was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week on Monday after an impressive start to his NHL career in which he recorded a goal and three assists in his first two games. He delivered in the clutch with an overtime winner against Los Angeles before setting up teammate Marcus Johansson for the OT winner the following game.

Kaprizov has moved to +200 in the Calder odds after opening at +400. He’s set up very nicely to win the prestigious trophy due to his role on a rising Minnesota squad that should compete for a playoff spot this season. Kaprizov is playing on the first power-play unit alongside Kevin Fiala and has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time in two games.

Kaprizov has the skill to be in the rookie of the year race all season. He was a prolific goal scorer in Russia before coming over to North America, stringing together consecutive 30-plus goal seasons in the KHL. You have to expect slumps and speed bumps for any young player, but Kaprizov already being 23 years of age is a big bonus. Many of the other rookies are age 19 or 20 and aren’t as physically mature as the Russian winger.

Fade the Rangers? 

Igor Shesterkin and Alexis Lafreniere entered the NHL’s opening week as the co-favorites to win the 2021 Calder, but they’re already seeing their odds lengthen in the early goings. Shesterkin has fallen to +500 after giving up four goals in his first start, while Lafreniere has dropped to the same value after being held off the scoresheet in his first two games.

It’s way too early to read much into these first few games, but there’s reason to considering staying away from both New York Calder contenders. Lafreniere is skating on the third line and won’t be utilized like Kaprizov unless there’s injury, while Shesterkin could split a fair amount of starts with Alexander Georgiev.

While the Rangers would’ve loved if their two rookies started the season with a bang, vegas dropping their odds has moreso to do with just how impressive Kaprizov has been. Once Lafreniere pots that coveted first goal and the hype train truly takes off from the station, expect oddsmakers to adjust his price accordingly.

Best Longshot Wagers To Consider

There are some intriguing longshots in the updated Calder Trophy odds who may not be getting the respect they deserve. German forward Tim Stuetzle is sitting at +800 after scoring one of the nicest first NHL goals in history over the weekend. He’s currently skating on the team’s second line and second power-play unit, where he’s averaging 13:32 of ice time.

Nils Hoglander of the Vancouver Canucks is also a very skilled rookie who is skating in the top-six of his respective team. He scored in his NHL debut against Edmonton and has seen at least 16 minutes of ice time in every contest thus far. Hoglander is currently skating on the second line with Bo Horvat, but the return of J.T. Miller (COVID protocols) means Hoglander will be bumped off that lethal first power-play unit.

One rookie that may not be flying under the radar for much longer is Trevor Zegras (+2000) of the Anaheim Ducks. The leading scorer and MVP of the 2021 World Juniors was sent down to the AHL to start the season, but it may not be long before he gets the call up. The Ducks are winless through two games and have managed just three goals in the process.

Verdict

There are some intriguing longshots to consider, but it’s best to get in on Kaprizov before his odds shorten even more. He’s going to be playing a very important role for Minnesota all season and has an edge over some of the other rookies due to his age.

The KHL standout should finish with top rookie numbers in 2021, and the potential for him to lead the Wild into the playoffs makes him a very strong bet at +200.

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