With the Western Conference Final all but decided, it’s a good time to take a look at the futures odds for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the NHL postseason. The value for any of these players plummets considerably once the Stanley Cup Final starts, so this will be the last chance to take advantage of some of these odds. This betting guide will give an updated look at the best value plays for the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Final quickly approaches.
The Frontrunner: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (+180)
Nathan MacKinnon has arguably been the most consistent player this postseason, and he’s leading the charge of the team that easily looks like the favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup. MacKinnon has a point in all but two of Colorado’s 13 playoff games. He scored a goal in every game of the first round against Nashville, scored a hat trick against St. Louis, and has at least a point in every game of the Western Conference Final. His 10 goals in the playoffs are second only to Edmonton’s Evander Kane, who has 13, but MacKinnon will likely pass him if the Avalanche eliminate the Oilers.
These odds are low, but MacKinnon is the obvious leader for the award. As long as it hovers close to 2-to-1, there’s still value left in playing him to win the Conn Smythe. He’s dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning throughout his career (10 goals and 23 points in 15 career games) and has been solid against the New York Rangers (seven goals and 16 points in 15 career games). These odds (+180) weren’t what they were a week ago, but this is still a good play with great value.
The Best Value: Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (+450)
The Rangers are still in a fight with the two-time defending champs, but Igor Shesterkin is the biggest reason they’re just two wins away from the Stanley Cup Final. If the Rangers wind up winning the Stanley Cup, Shesterkin is going to be the reason why. That puts him as New York’s front-runner for the Conn Smythe, and these are great odds for a guy who’s emerged as one of the best players this entire postseason.
He has just one career start against the Avalanche, and it was his first career start – a 5-3 win on Jan. 7, 2020. Shesterkin will win the Vezina Trophy (barring complete larceny) and is a Hart Trophy finalist, too. These odds (+450) are crazy good for a guy with a great chance to get to the Stanley Cup Final, and they’ll drop considerably if the Rangers advance past Tampa Bay. For bettors who think New York will advance, the time to lock in Shesterkin is now.
The Longshot: Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lighting (+2,000)
The Lightning have a lot of work left to get the chance to win their third consecutive Stanley Cup. Sunday’s victory was a big step towards that, and Nikita Kucherov was right in the middle of it. Kucherov has 20 points in the postseason, putting him fifth in the NHL. However, if Tampa advances, every one of the players in front of him will have been eliminated. If the Lightning are going to come back and defeat the Rangers, Kucherov will almost certainly be in the midst of the scoring, as he has been throughout his career.
He’s picked up momentum as the playoffs have gone on, and he scores in bunches. After Sunday’s three-point effort, Kucherov has seven multi-point games in these playoffs. He likely has the best chance to win the Conn Smythe out of any Lightning player since goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has looked a little more human against the Rangers. Of course, he’s a heavy underdog, but with his odds currently through the roof at 20-to-1, he might be worth a small play for bettors that believe the Lightning are still going to lift the Cup.
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
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