NHL

2024 Conn Smythe Odds: Shesterkin Leads the Way

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
2024 Conn Smythe Odds: Shesterkin Leads the Way

The Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded to the most valuable player in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unlike other sports, this award takes into account the entire body of work, not just the Final.

That allows us to start handicapping the race early, even as the second round is basically just getting underway. It also adds a unique wrinkle as it makes a player on the losing team a candidate for the award, if they carried their team to the final.

Here are the current Conn Smythe Odds, as listed on FanDuel Sportsbook:

Player
Odds
Igor Shesterkin+550
Connor McDavid+850
Nathan MacKinnon+1100
Cale Makar+1300

Igor Shesterkin (+550)

The adage in playoff hockey is that you're only as good as your goaltender. If that's the case for the New York Rangers, it's a good thing that Igor Shesterkin is their goaltender.

Shesterkin has won all seven games so far in this postseason. He has a 2.01 goals against average and a .935 save percentage. Looked at more advanced numbers, he is second among goalies remaining in goals saved above expectation per 60 minutes. He's saving the Rangers 1.23 goals per 60 minutes in the playoffs.

The Rangers are the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, but a lot of that is because they are the first team to win three games in the second round of the playoffs. They are a strong team, having finished the regular season with the most points in the league and won their first seven postseason games. However, they may not be the favorite for the Cup heading into the next round.

If the Rangers do win the Cup, Shesterkin is likely going to be the team's best candidate to take home the award. Considering they are +390 to win, you can get a bit better odds on believing in the team by backing Igor to take home the Conn Smythe.

Connor McDavid (+850)

We have to mention the best player in the world in this race -- especially after the first round he had. Connor McDavid had 12 points in just five games against the Los Angeles Kings.

The Edmonton Oilers were pretty big favorites in round two, so much so that they are still favorites in the series despite having lost Game 1 and not having home-ice advantage. There is real belief in the Oilers this year; they have been one of the best teams in the league since Kris Knoblauch took over as head coach.

McDavid leads all players with 13 points in the playoffs but just 1 was a goal. That's the only thing potentially holding him back from winning the award if the Oilers go deep; the lack of goals could become a narrative that works against him.

That would probably be the only knock on him if the Oilers do go deep. If they do make the Cup Finals, McDavid will need to be the driving force, and adding goals to his resume would lock that up.

The voters would likely show a lot of leniency towards McDavid in the same way they did towards Sidney Crosby; he won back-to-back Conn Smythes in 2016 and 2017 when you could have made the case for other players. I could even see a case for McDavid getting votes if the Oilers make the Finals and lose in a close, seven-game series if he's given credit for carrying them that far.

Nathan MacKinnon (+1150)

Nathan MacKinnon was a huge part of the Colorado Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup in 2022 but wasn't judged to be the most valuable.

That could change this season as he's been excellent in the playoffs so far. MacKinnon has 11 points in seven games as the Avs are currently tied 1-1 in their series with the Dallas Stars.

The same thing that worked against MacKinnon winning this award in 2022 could work against him this year, a teammate overshadowing his performance. That would be the same teammate as Cale Makar leads the Avalanche in points (12) as a defenseman.

Colorado will still have to gain an edge in this tough series against Dallas for me to feel good about betting any of their players. Right now, I think I would pass on MacKinnon at these current odds. Besides Makar, Mikko Rantanen also could have a case with 11 points to begin the postseason.

Cale Makar (+1300)

If I was betting a player on Colorado, I'd lean on Makar over MacKinnon. As mentioned, Makar has more points than MacKinnon so far in the playoffs, which is extremely impressive for a blue-liner

Makar is second in average ice time per game among players remaining in the playoffs. That is a narrative that gets talked about throughout the playoffs, and if there is a long overtime and Makar plays a lot of time, that would only enhance his case.

We're getting better odds on Makar than MacKinnon. With Colorado being the fourth-shortest favorites to win the Stanley Cup, I don't mind taking this long shot compared to his teammate.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.