Seven games into the postseason, Jonathan Marchessault was goalless. He had just two points and the questions were certainly starting to fly both internally in his own head and externally from people like me.
Then, the light switched on, and off he went. Marchessault potted 13 goals in the next 13 games and ended the playoffs with 25 points. He scored three game-winning goals, posted a natural hat trick in the crucial Game 6 in Edmonton, and was held off the scoresheet just twice in VGK’s final 15 playoff games.
For all this, he was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy becoming the first undrafted player to win the honor of playoff MVP since Wayne Gretzky.
Now, we look forward. With his name engraved in the most legendary individual trophy in hockey (and finding somewhere to put it), Marchessault will enter 2023-24 with some massive expectations on his shoulders. Every single night he’ll be referenced as Conn Smythe-winner by the opposing broadcast and he’ll have to live up to it.
Former Conn Smythe winners typically see a bit of dropoff from their magical playoff run the next regular season, but the numbers are not stark. (See each individual’s stats at the end of the story.)