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Dissecting The Conn Smythe Discussion For VGK Hopefuls

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

As of today, Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is the favorite to win the NHL’s Conn Smythe Trophy. The league’s ultimate personal piece of hardware has a strong history of being given to the leader or star of the winning team. Of course, there have been exceptions, but fans should expect a member of the 2023 Stanley Cup champion will be named as the recipient. Both clubs have their leaders in the locker rooms and their postseason superlatives, who’ve consistently performed on the ice in the previous three series. However, there are dark horse candidates that have worked their way into the Conn Smythe conversation. While some are deserving, there are likely only a few plausible options.

William Hill’s Conn Smythe Odds:

  • Sergei Bobvrovsky +200
  • Matthew Tkachuk +250
  • Jack Eichel +375
  • Jonathan Marchessault +500
  • William Karlsson +600
  • Adin Hill +1200
  • Mark Stone +1200
  • Chandler Stephenson +4000
  • Aleksander Barkov +5000
  • Carter Verhaege +5000

While the Panthers top the list of Conn Smythe hopefuls, Vegas has six of the top ten contenders. The odds would suggest that if Florida wins, Bobrovsky would be the first choice if the goaltender can continue his Vezina-type run. Tkachuk would be next man up, if the Golden Knights are able to score more per game than the Leafs or Hurricanes but not enough to win four Stanley Cup Finals games. On the flip side, if Vegas ends up hoisting the Cup, the voters will have several names to consider.

Jack Eichel +375

Voters tend to target the marquee players for each team. Eichel is one of those for the Golden Knights. The eight-year veteran has rewritten his career story in just 17 postseason contests. As a point-per-playoff-game player, the top-line center has made it easy for his fans and impossible on his detractors. Even Buffalo Sabres fans would have to keep their comments to themselves. Since Eichel has performed up to expectations he’s being considered as one of the favorites for the Conn Smythe award, but has he been more effective than some of Vegas’ other impact players?

Jonathan Marchessault +500

It’s a bit of a surprise to be having this conversation about Marchessault’s odds to win the postseason MVP award considering the awful start he had in the opening round against the Winnipeg Jets. Once the spitfire forward heated up, he remains Vegas’ most dangerous weapon. Marchessault has scored nine times in 17 games, recorded two multi-goal games, and lifted his team up with three game-winners. The one thing that will hurt the sixth season Golden Knight is his position and profile. Over the last five finals, only once has a winger been announced as the winner of the Conn Smythe trophy. Oh, and he happens to be one of the most recognized athletes in the world.

William Karlsson +600

Finally, the rest of the hockey world is appreciating what Golden Knights fans have witnessed for six seasons. Now that Karlsson is scoring at a 0.58 GPG clip, the hype surrounding him is reaching near 2018 level. Beyond frustrating offensive opponents with his Selke-type effort, the original Misfit is pitching in like he did on the Golden Knights’ first Stanley Cup run. Karlsson leads Vegas with 10 goals and nine of them were 5-on-5. It’s possible the Stanley Cup Final is decided by even-strength play, if that’s the case expect plenty of Conn Smythe ballots cast for Wild Bill.

Adin Hill +800

If I had a Conn Smythe vote, I’d be torn between Karlsson and Hill. Yes, it’s unlikely the Golden Knights’ unknown goaltender gathers enough votes to take home the 57-year-old award. Hill is likely to be overshadowed by Eichel, Marchessault, Karlsson, and Stone even though he is fully qualified to be named the postseason’s most effective player. Two years ago, Tampa’s Andrei Vasilevsky was crowned the Conn Smythe recipient but it was the first time the award was handed to a backstop since 2012. His low profile, position, and the crowded field greatly hurt Hill’s chances at Stanley Cup immortality.

Mark Stone +1200

Considering his health going into the playoffs, the captain has made his presence felt through 17 games. Stone may not be leading in goals, assists, or points but he’s led his team in effort, emotions, and execution. The biggest impact VGK’s heart and soul has added this postseason is his availability. Stone has appeared in all 17 postseason contests and has averaged the same amount of ice time as he had in the regular season. He’s definitely turned into a bit of a dark horse to win the Conn Smythe but it would be hard to count #61 out. Five out of the last 12 winners wore a stitched A or C on their jersey. When it comes down to it, the voters tend to lean towards leaders and stars. A few expressive Stone moments could easily sway their vote his way. At 12-1, it’s worth a shot.


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  1. George T

    My vote is for Wild Bill. It’s easy. He’s shut down top lines from the Avalanche (a few years ago) to the Oilers (currently).

  2. Kevin

    71 and done

  3. Achilles

    Wild Bill or Bust for me.

  4. knights fan in minny

    come on saturday its the cup

  5. Jailbird

    Yea, a little premature to talk about individual awards. Got to win the cup first!

    • Bobby

      Since I own a #71 adidas road sweater, Wild Bill! Great number too, 71.

  6. THE hockey GOD

    i agree too early to bring this topic up

    author JINXED THEM ALL !!


    you owe me a coke !

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