NHL Playoff MVP: Conn Smythe Trophy Race Wide Open as Conference Finals Begin

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NHL Playoff MVP: Conn Smythe Trophy Race Wide Open as Conference Finals Begin

Only four teams remain in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the conference finals set to begin on Thursday, May 18th, and the Conn Smythe Trophy race is wide open as a result.

Conn Smythe Trophy Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Sebastian Aho 6/1
  • Jack Eichel 6/1
  • Matthew Tkachuk +750
  • Roope Hintz 9/1
  • Mark Stone 10/1
  • Joe Pavelski 15/1
  • Jake Oettinger 15/1
  • Carter Verhaeghe 15/1
  • Martin Necas 18/1
  • Brent Burns 22/1
  • Jordan Martinook 22/1
  • Miro Heiskanen 25/1
  • Jason Robertson 25/1
  • Adin Hill 25/1
  • Brandon Montour 30/1
  • Aleksander Barkov 30/1
  • Seth Jarvis 30/1
  • Jordan Staal 30/1
  • Jonathan Marchesseault 30/1
  • Chandler Stephenson 40/1
  • William Karlsson 40/1
  • Jaccob Slavin 50/1
  • Nick Cousins 50/1
  • Alex Pietrangelo 60/1
  • Shea Theodore 75/1

Carolina Hurricanes

Stanley Cup Odds: +225

 

The Hurricanes are the current Stanley Cup favorite and leading goal scorer Sebastian Aho (6/1) is the co-favorite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy. Role player Jordan Martinook (22/1) has as many points (10) as Aho heading into the Eastern Conference Final, and because of that, I don’t think his odds are a good representation of where he sits right now in the minds of voters.

Goaltender Frederik Andersen (9/1) is lurking, but for good reason, Brent Burns (22/1) and Jaccob Slavin (50/1) are both getting a lot of attention. The pairing has been dominant, owning around 60 percent of the shots on goal and expected goals when they’ve been on the ice, according to Natural Stat Trick, and Burns has produced almost as many points as Aho and Martinook.

Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup Odds: +260

NHL writers love a good narrative and Jack Eichel is writing a hell of a story. The 26-year-old is playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time and he’s leading the way with six goals and 14 points in 11 games played. Some of his best performances have been in big games, too. Vegas has several worthy candidates, including captain Mark Stone, who also has a good story, but Eichel is playing the best hockey of his career and it’s going to be tough for any of his teammates to outshine him.

Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup Odds: +310

At the start of the playoffs, Jake Oettinger (15/1) was the easy pick to be the most valuable player on the Dallas Stars after his performance in their first-round loss to the Calgary Flames last season. However, after a rocky second-round series against the Seattle Kraken, Oettinger must improve on his mediocre .903 save percentage. There’s still time, but the competition is getting tougher.

According to Greg Wyshynshki, Roope Hintz (9/1) is the current leader for the Conn Smythe based on ESPN’s polling. Miro Heiskanen (25/1), Joe Pavelski (15/1), and Jason Robertson (25/1) are still contenders for the award, but Hintz is the leading scorer left in the playoffs with nine goals and 19 points in 13 games and he has built a strong case up to this point.

Florida Panthers

Stanley Cup Odds: +330

Matthew Tkachuk (+750) has made a real name for himself in these playoffs, especially considering how the Florida Panthers crumbled in the playoffs last season. Tkachuk has been a menace in the playoffs, scoring five goals and 16 points, and he continues to spark his team by finding ways to impact the game even when he’s not getting on the scoresheet.

Carter Verhaeghe (15/1) has also been good, though, and he isn’t far behind Tkachuk with 12 points in 12 games. Like Tkachuk, Verhaeghe has five goals, but he’s come up big in the clutch, scoring more game winners (three) than any other player to date in the playoffs besides Stars’ forward Joe Pavelski, who also has three game winning goals.

Sergei Bobrovsky (10/1) deserves a lot of recognition, and some consideration for the Conn Smythe, but Tkachuk’s narrative is strong, though, and I can see him being credited with bringing a Stanley Cup to South Florida if the Panthers are able to win it all, unless the two-time Vezina Trophy winning goaltender absolutely steals the show.