Connor Bedard’s NHL Rookie of the Year odds take hit after jaw fracture; is there a new contender?

Chicago Blackhawks phenom Connor Bedard is no longer a runaway betting favorite to capture the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.  

Bedard suffered a fractured jaw in Friday’s game against the New Jersey Devils after a brutal (but legal) hit by Brendan Smith.

Bedard is out indefinitely after the Blackhawks put the former No. 1 draft pick on injured reserve. His odds have lengthened on top sports betting apps including DraftKings.

Connor Bedard injury’s impact on odds to win NHL Rookie of the Year

Here’s a look at odds at DraftKings to win the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year.

  • Connor Bedard -190
  • Luke Hughes +380
  • Brock Faber +750
  • Adam Fantilli +750

Bedard, who opened the season atop the Calder odds board at -500, was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game last week but will likely miss out on that chance now. At odds in the -400 range last week, he led the Blackhawks and all rookies with 33 points (15 goals, 18 assists) in 39 games before the injury. 

Columbus defenseman Boone Jenner, who suffered a similar injury in December, was expected to be out six weeks. Assuming a similar timeline for Bedard, that would see him return to the lineup in mid-February after the All-Star Break.

That would translate to Bedard missing 15 games, but he could potentially miss more. Chicago is one of the league’s worst teams and in a rebuilding mode. The Blackhawks won’t need to rush Bedard back in the hopes of making a playoff push. They are dead last in the Central Division with a record of 12-26-2.

Check & Bet: NHL Betting Lines | Stanley Cup Odds

Other NHL Rookie of the Year contenders and how to bet this market

From a betting perspective, the biggest beneficiary of Bedard’s injury might be New Jersey defenseman Luke Hughes. Let’s take a look at him and other NHL ROY candidates.

Luke Hughes

Hughes saw his Calder odds shorten dramatically from +1600 last week down to +380 at DraftKings. Hughes played in two games last season, but he remains a rookie in the rather Byzantine rules that govern the Calder Trophy winner.

Candidates must not have played in “more than 25 games in any single preceding season nor in six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons in any major professional league.” You also need to be no older than 25 years old by Sept. 15 in the year of eligibility.

Hughes, 20, has produced the most points (23) of all rookie blue-liners nearly halfway through the season.

Brock Faber

Faber, a fellow first-year defenseman for the Minnesota Wild, also made his NHL debut last year. His odds shortened from +1400 last week to +750 in early wagering this week.

The NHL’s plus/minus statistic measures goal differentials for players when they’re on the ice. The plus comes into play when your team scores, and the negative is applied when an opponent scores.

Faber checks in at a solid +9, one point better than former Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar in Colorado. Makar is heralded as one of the league’s best defensemen.

Adam Fantilli

Columbus center Adam Fantilli made a name for himself in the college ranks at Michigan. As a freshman, Fantilli led the nation in goals, assists and points per game on his way to winning the Hobey Baker Award (hockey’s version of the Heisman). 

His success has continued in the NHL. Fantilli is near the top of his team’s scoring sheet with 11 goals and 24 points. 

Calder Trophy betting analysis

After being a prohibitive favorite, the unfortunate injury for Bedard brings him back to a viable price to bet. Monitor Calder futures odds during his extended absence. He fell as far as -170 at DraftKings, but has since ticked up to -190.

If he falls to -150 or lower moving forward, consider betting on Bedard to become the NHL Rookie of the Year.

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