From online sports book Bovada, the latest odds to win the Calder Trophy for the NHL’s rookie of the year:
Nathan MacKinnon (COL) 5/2
Chris Kreider (NYR) 3/1
Hampus Lindholm (ANA) 3/1
Torey Krug (BOS) 7/2
Seth Jones (NAS) 6/1
Sean Monahan (CAL) 17/2
Valeri Nichushkin (DAL) 17/2
Jacob Trouba (WIN) 20/1
MacKinnon, 18, leads all rookies with 26 points in 41 games, including this snipe from Saturday versus the Sharks:
The fact MacKinnon’s the second-youngest player in the NHL (just a day older than Florida’s Aleksander Barkov) might earn him a few votes from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association too. The last three winners of the award have all been teenagers, a trend that doesn’t bode well for older rookies like Torey Krug and Chris Kreider, both of whom are 22 and have spent time in the league prior to this season.
If you’re betting and you want some bang for your buck, you could do worse than Nichushkin at 17/2. The Stars’ 18-year-old forward could easily win the rookie scoring race when all’s said and done.
Related: It’s ‘scary’ how good MacKinnon is already
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.