Our friends over at DraftKings currently have the latest odds listed to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the MVP of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final. Let's take a look at the odds, and then figure out who would be the best bet for each team:
Sergei Bobrovsky +210
Matthew Tkachuk +290
Jack Eichel +425
Jonathan Marchessault +700
William Karlsson +700
While I realize that this is a very chalky play, I just can't imagine anyone else on the Panthers winning this trophy if they were to win the Stanley Cup. The biggest reason that Florida has made it to this point is the dramatically improved play of their goaltending, which left a lot to be desired in the regular season. Over the course of the 2022-23 season, goaltending was easily the biggest liability for the Panthers. They were allowing 3.32 goals per game, one of the highest averages in the league. The offense was never the problem, as they were scoring 3.51 goals per game and taking 36.8 shots on average per night. In the playoffs, Bobrovsky has caught lightning in a bottle and there is no question that if he hadn't, Florida would have been gone long ago.
That's why I think if he continues to have these performances, the offense of the Panthers is more than capable of scoring enough on Vegas to win this series. To sum it all up, the fate of Florida's chances depends heavily on Bobrovsky's shoulders.
Jack Eichel will be the popular pick here, and with good reason, as he leads the Knights in points in these playoffs and has been their best overall player. However, if Stone can get close to even with him, I think they will give it to the first captain in franchise history if they won the Stanley Cup. He's only three points behind Eichel for the team playoff lead, and since he returned from injury at the beginning of these playoffs, that just adds even more to the storyline. It will be a lot harder to pick a winner on the Golden Knights, as they are a very well-balanced team with a lot of strengths that pushed them here.
When picking for Vegas, go with the best value pick, and Stone is that for me. Others you could consider are Chandler Stephenson, Ivan Barbashov and Reilly Smith.