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Handicapping Conn Smythe Trophy race

September 18, 2020 09:05 PM

Before the Stanley Cup is awarded the winning team, the Conn Smythe trophy is awarded to the most valuable player. Over the years, there have been some memorable winners, but sometimes the award doesn’t go to the player that deserves it the most. There are several candidates heading into the 2020 Stanley Cup Final and bettors can put their money behind whichever player they think will be deemed the most valuable player.

Brayden Point (plus-150)

Point enters the Stanley Cup Final with 25 points in 17 games and definitely looks like the Conn Smythe favorite. However, after missing two games with an injury in the Eastern Conference Final bettors have to be worried about his short-term health, and therefore, his ability to make an impact. Point still has a good chance of being declared the MVP, and that’s great if you’re holding 5/1, but I wouldn’t recommend taking plus-150.

Victor Hedman (plus-200)

There was a short period of time where there was a lot of concern around Hedman, and whether or not he would once again be hampered by an injury, but Hedman persevered. Through 19 games, the Swede has tallied nine goals (the most by a defensemen) and six assists. With three more goals, Hedman would tie Paul Coffey for the most goals in a playoff year by a defensemen. While Hedman doesn’t have the most points in the playoffs by a defensemen, he is flirting with setting a record, and the writers that vote on the award eat that kind of stuff up. Oh, and he also has a plus-19 rating.

Anton Khudobin (plus-300)

In my opinion, Khudobin should have the best odds of winning the Conn Smythe trophy of any of the Dallas Stars. The verteran goaltender has been rock solid throughout these playoffs with a .920 save percentage, if the Stars have any chance of defeating the Lightning he will have to stand on his head. If you’re backing the Stars to win the series, you’re going to need Khudobin to play like an MVP, so you might as well take plus-300.

Miro Heiskanen (plus-250)

With five goals and 17 assists, Heiskanen leads all defensemen with 22 points. The rookie only managed to produce a single point in five games versus the Vegas Golden Knights, though, and will really need to stand out in order to take home the Conn Smythe. The fact that almost half of Heiskanen’s points are secondary assists doesn’t help his case either. As good as the young blue liner has been, the opportunity to buy low has long since passed.

Jamie Benn (plus-1000)

As far as a dark horse, Jamie Benn fits the bill. A former Art Ross Trophy winner as the league MVP during the regular season in 2015, Benn has experienced a bit of a resurgence in these playoffs. The Stars captain has been a stalwart, tallying eight goals and 10 assists to combine for 18 points, which leads all Dallas forwards. Benn hasn’t generated a lot of buzz, but if he has a strong series versus the Lightning and the Stars do emerge victorious, he will definitely garner some attention from those with influence.


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