- Four teams remain in the race to win the 2023 Stanley Cup. With that, competition for the 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy is heating up.
- The Florida Panthers and Vegas Golden Knights have the four favorites to win the 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy.
- Florida’s offensive leader and that club’s last line of defense are the top picks to win the 2023 NHL Playoff MVP award.
The NHL has awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy at the end of the NHL playoffs since 1965, when Jean Beliveau first claimed the award. The Conn Smythe goes to the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs. With the 2023 NHL Conference Finals underway, there is still time to get some value bets in on this year’s award.
As of this writing, the Florida Panthers hold a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Carolina Hurricanes. Meanwhile, in the Western Conference Finals, the Vegas Golden Knights are up 2-0 over the Dallas Stars. In a rare occurrence, all four of the 2023 NHL playoff conference final games that have been played have gone to overtime.
Of the four teams remaining in the 2023 NHL Playoffs, only the Stars and Hurricanes have won the Stanley Cup and had one of their players claim the Conn Smythe. Cam Ward won the playoff MVP for Carolina in 2006, and Joe Nieuwendyk picked up the trophy for the Dallas Stars in 1999.
2023 Conn Smythe Trophy Betting Picks
|To WIn 2023 NHL Conn Smythe Award|
In July, the Calgary Flames traded Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers for Jonathan Huberdeau and defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. Tkachuk fit in well in Florida. He put up career highs in points (109) and assists (69), while scoring 40 goals in 79 games for the club. Tkachuk, a gritty presence on the ice, has also become one of the team’s emotional leaders.
Tkachuk has been outstanding during the 2023 NHL Playoffs. He leads the Panthers in points (18), goals (seven), and assists (11), while clocking the second-most ice time of all forwards on the team. He is also tied for the most game-winning-goals for the Panthers with three. More importantly, all of Tkachuk’s game-winners have come in overtime, including the two OT goals that put the team up 2-0 over the Carolina Hurricanes.
When the Vegas Golden Knights traded for Jack Eichel, the team was taking a chance on a player who had artificial disk replacement surgery. The hope was that the surgery would be a success and that Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL draft, would return to form and help the Golden Knights succeed. In 67 regular season games during the 2023 NHL regular season, Eichel scored 66 points to lead the team.
Eichel is tied for the team lead in playoff scoring with 15 points, (6 goals, 9 assists), and he leads the team in power-play points (5) and power-play goals (3). In the first-round series against the Jet, he had five points (3G, 2A) in five games. In the six-game series against the Oilers, Eichel put up nine points (3G, 6A), and while he only has one point against the Stars in the 2023 Western Conference Finals, Eichel is one of the leaders among the team’s forwards.
Roope Hintz had a career year in 2023 for the Dallas Stars with 75 points on the season (37G, 38A). However, he was far from the team’s leading scorer, as Jason Robertson put up 109 points. Robertson has struggled during the playoffs, as has the team’s second-best regular-season scorer, Jamie Benn. Hintz has elevated his play in the postseason. Of the players remaining in the 2023 NHL playoffs, no one has more points (22) or goals (10) than Hintz. He also leads the Stars in shots with 46 and is a team-best plus-7 for the 2023 postseason.
Sebastian Aho is playing good playoff hockey for the Carolina Hurricanes. Aho, who has played his entire career for the team that drafted him in the second round in 2015, leads the Hurricanes in playoff points (12) goals (5), and assists (7). He has contributed one game-winning goal during the 2023 postseason. While the Hurricanes are down 2-0 to the Florida Panthers, Aho has assisted in a goal in each game. He is also a plus player for the series.
Best bet for 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy
With four teams remaining and both Conference Finals series undecided, now is the best time to place a value bet on who will win the 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy. With how Florida is playing this year, they have become the Eastern Conference favorite to lift the 2023 Stanley Cup. With that, Matthew Tkachuk is the player to pick from the Panthers to win the Conn Smythe. However, if one is going to go with the favorite team to represent the Western Conference in the final round of the 2023 NHL Playoffs, the pick is Jack Eichel to win the Conn Smythe for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Pick: Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers to win the 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy.
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