The Colorado Avalanche are back in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001. The Avalanche have swept two of three opponents in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, en route to their first appearance in over 20 years. The Avs appear poised to add a third championship to the rafters on opening night in 2022-23. Colorado was the favorite to win it all entering the playoffs and are four games away.
As for the Conn Smythe Trophy, it looks like it could be going to an Avalanche player regardless of the outcome of the Cup Final. Let’s take a look at the odds and lines for the top Avalanche players via DraftKings Sportsbook. Remember, this isn’t like the NBA Finals MVP. This award is given to the MVP for the entirety of the postseason.
Conn Smythe Trophy odds: Avalanche
Cale Makar (+170) — The Avs defenseman is the favorite to win the award as of Tuesday. He leads the Avalanche in points, with 22 (5 goals, 17 assists) in 14 games. Makar has received high praise from the likes of Wayne Gretzky on NHL broadcasts. At this point, it appears to be Makar’s award to lose. There’s a chance we see Makar win playoff MVP even if Colorado loses the Cup Final to the Lightning or Rangers. That last time that happened was back in 2003 when Jean-Sebastien Giguere won for the Anaheim Ducks, who lost to the New Jersey Devils in the Cup.
Nathan MacKinnon (+190) — MacKinnon has the star power and leads the Avalanche in goals this postseason with 11. He’s behind Makar in points and ice time (obviously). MacKinnon and Makar are very close in terms of odds, which feels off. If MacKinnon and Makar were to have similar series in the Cup Final, the defenseman would be the very clear choice. MacKinnon, in my eyes, needs to turn it on and elevate his game a bit to win Conn Smythe.
Mikko Rantanen (+900) — There’s value in Rantanen as a dark horse candidate. He’s got 17 points and isn’t far behind MacKinnon in that category. Rantanen would have to have a hell of a series to overtake MacKinnon, let alone Makar. Is it in the realm of possibility in a tight series? Sure. If Rantanen were to score a few game-winning goals and/or the series-clincher, he could win the trophy.
Gabriel Landeskog (+1400) — Landeskog makes more sense as a long-shot bet than Rantanen. Landeskog has more goals and the same amount of points entering the Cup Final. He’s also the team captain, and we saw the first Conn Smythe trophy for the Avs go to captain Joe Sakic back in 1996. Similar to Rantanen, a big series for Landeskog could help him overtake his teammates to win.
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