Owen Power and Mason McTavish are Calder Trophy favorites for 2022-23

owen power
Apr 29, 2022; Buffalo, New York, USA; Buffalo Sabres defenseman Owen Power (25) during a stoppage in play in the first period against the Chicago Blackhawks at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

This upcoming season will be Owen Power’s first full campaign in the NHL after an 8 game showcase in 2021-22.

After being selected first overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2021, he is considered the favorite to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. However, there are others that could just as easily take home the honor, including Anaheim Ducks forward Mason McTavish who was outstanding at the World Junior Championship.

Let’s take a look at the top rookies coming into 2022-23.

NHL: Top Calder Trophy Candidates

A new flock of rookies are expected to play in the NHL this season, including 2022 first overall pick, Montreal’s Juraj Slafkovsky. The player many expected to go first, Shane Wright will be looking to prove people wrong playing for Seattle.

Unfortunately for the recent draft class of 2022, they will be facing stiff competition from the previous group of 2021. Here’s my top five candidates to win the Calder Trophy:

Owen Power (D): The oddsmakers at Oddshark have Power and McTavish at the top of the list at +400. Buffalo’s top prospect is physically ready to be a force in the NHL at 6-6′ and 213 lbs. Last season, he played 8 games and registered 2 goals and 3 points while logging 22:05 of ice time. As a defenseman, he won’t lead rookies in scoring but will be a standout among them.

Mason McTavish (C): McTavish’s Gold-winning MVP performance at the WJC puts him as a 1A with Power. He was selected by Anaheim two spots behind Power in 2021 and posted 3 points in 9 games last season. The Ducks are going with a younger roster this season, which means more ice time for kids like McTavish, who could be playing with Trevor Zegras.

world junior championship
Aug 20, 2022; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Team Canada forward Mason McTavish (23) celebrates with the World Junior Championship trophy after winning the championship game during the IIHF U20 Ice Hockey World Championship at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Beniers (C): No one should sleep on the second overall pick in the 2021 Draft. Beniers showcased his talents for the Kraken in 10 games and posted 9 points (3G – 6A) last year. I have him third on the list simply because I don’t trust Seattle’s offense.

Kent Johnson (C): Another player from this past WJC gets a boost up the rankings. Johnson was selected by the Blue Jackets fifth overall in the same draft as the previous three players. With Columbus looking for an answer at center, Johnson should get ample ice time with great players like Patrik Laine and Johnny Gaudreau. He registered 3 assists in his 9 game showcase in 2021-22.

William Eklund (W): My dark horse to take the Calder is the Sharks first round pick, seventh overall in the 2021 draft. He looked good in his brief stint last year with 4 assists in 9 games. San Jose is committed to giving young players more ice time this upcoming season and it will only help Eklund’s chances.

Also keep an eye out on these fellow rookies:

  • Marco Rossi (MIN)
  • Jake Sanderson (OTT)
  • Jack Quinn (BUF)
  • Aatu Raty (NYI)
  • Lukas Reichel (CHI)

Kings sign Mikey Anderson

The Los Angeles Kings came to a one-year agreement with defenseman Mikey Anderson on Saturday. Terms of the deal are for $1 million annual average value on a one-way contract.

Drafted by the Kings in 2017, the 23 year-old registered 2 goals and 8 points in 57 games. For his career, Anderson has 20 points in 117 contests spanning three seasons.