We figure to get an unconventional Conn Smythe winner in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Well, at least someone who nobody truly expected to win it before the playoffs began. The four remaining teams include the Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars. The top three scorers left are Stars C Roope Hintz, Vegas C Jack Eichel and Panthers LW Matthew Tkachuk. Here we’ll take a look at the Conn Smythe odds heading into the Conference Finals and make some picks.
2023 Conn Smythe Trophy odds: Conference Finals
We’ll start with my favorite pick on the board: Hintz. He leads the remaining players in scoring and had a goal in Game 7 vs. the Kraken, breaking a 0-0 tie in the second period. Hintz has been a wagon all postseason on both ends of the ice. With 19 points (9 goals, 10 assists) in 13 games these playoffs, if the Stars win, you’d expect Hintz wins Conn Smythe unless Jake Oettinger starts standing on his head or Jason Robertson goals atomic. It isn’t just for the Stanley Cup it’s the entire playoffs, so even Robertson, Oettinger or someone like Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin getting hot may not be enough to overtake Hintz.
Anyway, looking at the board overall, there’s still a ton of value considering how late into the postseason we are. The odds tell you that the book has no idea who will win the Cup at this point. It’s a very even and unknown field of four teams. Last year, you had a good idea that the Avalanche were going to come out of the West and likely win it all. That allowed us to get on Cale Makar in the second round and coast from there. This season is different.
The Hurricanes are the toughest to crack. They’re favored to win it all at +225 to win the Cup, best on the board. The MVP on their team is still very much up in the air. If I’m betting on anyone at this point it might be Jordan Martinook at +2200. He’s tied for the team lead with 10 points and has been the ‘Canes unsung hero all postseason. Freddy Andersen is the safest pick at +900 for Carolina. He’s 5-0 and only has one blip on his resume in Game 3 vs. the Devils. A shutout or two in the East Final and his odds will jump up over Sebastian Aho. Really the only reason Aho is so high on the board right now is his name. In terms of play, Martinook and Andersen have been better.
Tkachuk will get most of the media attention, so he feels like a decent play at +750 if the Panthers continue this run. Outside of maybe Carter Verhaeghe scoring a few big goals or Bobrovsky pitching a shutout in the East Final, this is Tkachuk’s award to lose if Florida wins it all. Same goes for the Golden Knights and Jack Eichel.