The 2023-24 NHL season begins Oct. 10 with a tripleheader on ESPN. To celebrate the start of the season, writers and editors are debating who they think will win some of the League’s major awards. Today, the Calder Trophy, presented annually to the rookie of the year as voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Connor Bedard fever has hit the NHL, and he has not even played a regular-season game. That will come Tuesday, when the Chicago Blackhawks and their No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena (8 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN1, TVAS).

The 18-year-old center is the most hyped prospect in the League since center Connor McDavid was selected No. 1 by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 NHL Draft.

But Bedard is not the only rookie expected to make an impact in the NHL this season, which is why the debate over who will win the Calder Trophy is an interesting one.

Here is who our writers picked:

Connor Bedard, Chicago Blackhawks

Yeah, I know I’m really going out a limb here, but can you blame me for picking Bedard as my preseason Calder Trophy choice? Bedard comes with a lot of fanfare and for good reason. He led the Western Hockey League last season in goals (71), points (143) and points per game (2.51). Sure, he’s making a big leap at 18 years old but I’m not doubting his abilities. I’ve seen them a few times firsthand, and they’re impressive. Bedard is already finding chemistry with linemate Taylor Hall, and I think that will grow. High expectations surround Bedard and I think he’ll achieve a lot, including some hardware his rookie season. -- Tracey Myers, staff writer

Logan Cooley, Arizona Coyotes

Cooley put the hockey world on notice with his spin-o-rama goal in his first NHL preseason game, which happened to be in the 2023 NHL Global Series – Melbourne against the Los Angeles Kings. The 19-year-old center, selected by Arizona with the No. 3 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, led the University of Minnesota with 60 points (22 goals, 38 assists) in 39 games as a freshman last season and has the offensive skill to put up similar numbers as an NHL rookie. After initially considering playing another NCAA season, he signed a three-year, entry-level contract July 27 with the Coyotes, who could be one of the bigger surprise teams in the Western Conference this season. If Cooley performs well and Arizona makes a big jump in the standings, Calder votes will come his way. -- Tom Gulitti, staff writer

Luke Hughes, New Jersey Devils

Hughes has played in five NHL games -- two in the regular season and three in the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- and has looked the part. If family bloodlines matter, the 20-year-old defenseman is going to be a star in this League. His brothers, Devils teammate Jack Hughes and Vancouver Canucks captain Quinn Hughes, have set the bar, and Luke is more than capable of clearing it this season. He has four points (one goal, three assists) in his five NHL games. He had 87 points (27 goals, 60 assists) in 80 games across two seasons at the University of Michigan before signing with New Jersey, which made him the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, on April 8. He understands how to use his skating and skills to his advantage, doesn’t get caught up the ice and goes far enough to know he’s still in position to get back. Hughes will have a monster rookie season with the Devils; he should be a top-four defenseman, should play more than 20 minutes per game and New Jersey should be a playoff team. If it all happens and Hughes produces, he’ll get a flood of votes for the Calder Trophy -- Dan Rosen, senior writer

Matthew Knies, Toronto Maple Leafs

Knies could turn out to be the biggest surprise of the NHL rookie class. The big left wing (6-foot-3, 217 pounds), who turns 21 on Oct. 17, plays with an old-school mentality by winning board battles, coming through in clutch situations, and knowing where to go to create offense or deny the opposition. He impressed the Maple Leafs coaches late last season during three regular-season games and seven more in the playoffs. At no time did he appear intimidated playing alongside centers Auston Matthews or John Tavares. Knies had 75 points (36 goals, 39 assists) in 73 games over two seasons at the University of Minnesota before signing his entry-level contract with Toronto on April 9, and brings a needed element with his physicality, finesse and versatility. Knies spent part of the offseason skating with Matthews in Arizona and learned plenty living with Tavares at the end of last season. If given an opportunity among the top six, he could experience a season to remember. -- Mike G. Morreale, staff writer

Devon Levi, Buffalo Sabres

A goalie hasn’t won the Calder Trophy since Steve Mason did it with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009. Levi could break that streak. The athletic 21-year-old is poised to give the Sabres stability in net they haven’t had since Ryan Miller from 2002-14. Levi gave a tantalizing preview last season; he made 31 saves in his NHL debut, a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers on March 31, and was 5-2-0 in seven starts for Buffalo with a 2.94 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. That’s on top of going 38-22-6 at Northeastern University with a 1.90 GAA, .942 save percentage and 16 shutouts in 66 games from 2021-23. Levi became the first goalie to win the Mike Richter Award as the NCAA’s best goalie two years in a row, and he’s has a chance to add the Calder to his trophy case. -- William Douglas, staff writer