Ranking the 2024 Conn Smythe Trophy Candidates

Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his third-period goal against the Boston Bruins in Game Four of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the TD Garden on May 12, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid (6/1) is the favourite at NorthStar Bets to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player of the NHL playoffs, but he’s got some stiff competition.

8. Cale Makar (60/1)

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar have each registered three goals and nine assists so far in the playoffs. As a defenseman and the ice-time leader, Makar is Colorado’s default candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy. However, Makar has gone pointless in his last three games against the Dallas Stars, and no other player has stepped up. As a result, the Avalanche are on the brink of elimination, and Makar could be golfing as soon as Wednesday.

7. Sebastian Aho (30/1)

No single player on the Carolina Hurricanes has stepped up enough to warrant any real consideration for the Conn Smythe Trophy. Sebastian Aho leads the Hurricanes with 10 points in 10 games, but Jake Guentzel holds the goal-scoring lead and is only one point behind Aho, as are Andrei Svechnikov and Brady Skjei. Only two points are separating the top six scorers on the team. Carolina faces elimination, but should they advance, another player could overtake Aho as the team’s most valuable player.

6. Jeremy Swayman (100/1)

If Boston becomes just the 33rd team in NHL history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series, goaltender Jeremy Swayman will be the reason why. In round one, Swayman was virtually unbeatable for the Bruins, allowing two or fewer goals in all six games against the Toronto Maple Leafs. According to Evolving Hockey, the 25-year-old leads the playoffs with a .931 save percentage and he’s saved the Bruins approximately 11 goals saved above expected. The Bruins have last year’s Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender on the bench, but head coach Jim Montgomery has clearly anointed Swayman as the team’s number-one goaltender.

Jeremy Swayman Conn Smythe Trophy Winner


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5. Brock Boeser (70/1) and J.T. Miller (70/1)

With seven goals and 12 points in 12 games, Brock Boeser currently leads the Vancouver Canucks in scoring. The 27-year-old has scored three goals and registered six assists in four games against the Oilers. J.T. Miller is also listed at 70/1 despite scoring just one fewer point than Boeser. Miller only has two goals, but his defensive skill has not gone unnoticed. According to Natural Stat Trick, Vancouver has allowed just 1.16 goals per 60 minutes with Miller on the ice during 5-on-5 play in the playoffs, and he’s proved to be a hard matchup for McDavid and the Oilers.

Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup Winner


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4. Connor McDavid (6/1) and Leon Draisaitl (30/1)

McDavid is the current favourite to win the Conn Smythe Trophy after putting up 18 points in nine games, but the Edmonton Oilers captain has faced a tough matchup in round two. Outside of his performance in Game 2, when he scored a goal and registered three assists, he’s been relatively quiet in the second round. However, while McDavid has arguably been Edmonton’s MVP, its Leon Draisaitl (8-12-20) who leads the team in points. Draisaitl has scored eight goals in nine games, including two game-winners, compared to just two goals for McDavid.

Draisaitl has also registered two or more points in all but one game, which means he’s put up more points, more consistently, than McDavid. Of course, Draisaitl will have to significantly outshine McDavid en route to a Stanley Cup championship, but comparatively, his 30/1 odds are a bit of a head-scratcher. McDavid said it himself: Draisaitl is capable of being the best player in the world at any given moment. He’s also willing to play through debilitating injuries, which should earn him some credibility should the Oilers go on a run.

Connor McDavid Conn Smythe Trophy Winner


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3. Igor Shesterkin (+750)

Igor Shesterkin’s .922 save percentage ranks second among the goaltenders remaining in the playoffs, behind only Swayman. He has allowed three or fewer goals in eight of his nine playoff games and has saved the Rangers approximately eight goals above expected, according to Evolving Hockey. While New York has many star players who could be MVP candidates, such as Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox, the Rangers aren’t a possession powerhouse. Therefore, their goaltending needs to be exceptional if they are to win the Stanley Cup. It is doubtful that any individual performance will outshine Shesterkin’s work in the crease.

2. Jake Oettinger (+750) and Miro Heiskanen (20/1)

Stars’ goaltender Jake Oettinger might not have the flashiest numbers. He might not even be the team’s most valuable player. Defenseman Miro Heiskanen (20/1) has been outstanding.. Wyatt Johnston (7-4-11) has been great, too. However, Oettinger’s resume will be hard to beat if the Stars advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Oettinger has allowed two or fewer goals in eight out of 11 playoff games, including Games 3 and 4 against the Avalanche, who finished the regular season as the best offensive team in the league.

I mean, Dallas just eliminated the 2023 champions, and now they’re one win away from doing the same to the 2022 champs. If the Stars can finish the job, Oettinger will likely have to shut down two of the most prolific playoff scorers of all time, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, to reach the Stanley Cup final. Awards are merit-based, but a good narrative helps, and Oettinger’s story is writing itself. With that said, Heiskanen has been logging almost 25 minutes a night against some of the top scorers in the league, and he’s leading the team in scoring.

1. Aleksander Barkov (12/1)

A lot of hardware could be added to Aleksander Barkov’s trophy shelf this summer. Barkov is a virtual lock to win the Selke Trophy as the forward who best excels in the game’s defensive aspects. His two-way game makes the Panthers captain an attractive Conn Smythe Trophy bet at 12/1 odds. Barkov is currently tied for the lead in scoring with Matthew Tkachuk, who is also listed at 12/1. Still, Barkov plays in all situations, including a big role on the Panthers’ penalty kill, which has successfully killed off 85.29 percent of the team’s penalties. Tkachuk or Sergei Bobrovsky could outshine Barkov in the next two rounds, but the Panthers’ captain is doing it all right now.

Aleksander Barkov Conn Smythe Trophy Winner


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