Not only will we know who wins the Stanley Cup Trophy within the next two weeks, but we’ll also know who grabbed the Conn Smythe Trophy — awarded to the best individual player during the playoffs. If you guess who that ends up being then you can earn a pretty penny betting 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy futures. That’s exactly what we’re attempting to do so read on for expert opinions on this wager!
It’s in our best interest to begin with the current Conn Smythe Trophy odds — as set by the top-used NHL betting sites. Right now, just before Game 1 on Wednesday, the following players are most favored to take the championship:
One thing that needs to be said upfront: you can’t make a Conn Smythe Trophy without having a Stanley Cup Finals pick. That’s because a player winning this trophy that fails to win the Cup is incredibly rare. So rare that it’s only happened five times in the individual trophy’s 56-year history. The last time it happened? You’d have to go back to 2003 when Anaheim's Jean-Sebastien Giguere pulled off the rare feat.
Best Bets To Win 2022 NHL Conn Smythe Trophy
It’s our impression that bettors are largely split on who wins the next Stanley Cup between Colorado and Tampa, despite the former being betting frontrunners at top online sportsbooks. That’s why we can’t give you only one bet to win the 2022 Conn Smythe Trophy. Instead, we’ll give you one choice from each side and you can just wager with the player that’s on the team you think wins it all. With that said, here are our top choices:
Spoiler alert: we believe the Lightning will three-peat as Stanley Cup champions. In that scenario, our belief is that its goaltender (and the reigning Conn Smythe winner) Vasilevskiy will key Tampa Bay to this title, which feels like it’ll be its toughest yet.
Tough because the Lightning has already gone through a murder’s row in the postseason — Toronto, Florida, and New York. The first two teams were among the Stanley Cup front runners year-round at major betting sites. Tough because the last two series came without Brayden Point, its elite playmaker who was injured toward the end of the first round. Tough because the Avalanche is the most challenging team they’ve faced in the Finals during this incredible run that's historic in the salary cap era.
What makes Colorado especially challenging is its offense, which led the league in scoring during the regular season. It’s just as talented, if not more, than Tampa Bay’s own prolific attack. But the Avalanche has yet to face a goaltender quite like Vasilevskiy, who has reminded us he’s still the world's best at this defending the net thing.
Vasilevskiy has somehow, someway found another gear amid this brutal playoff stretch for the Lightning. Seven of the team’s 12 postseason wins so far have come from a single goal. Given that figure, we’re led to believe if you were to replace Vasilevskiy with a good but not great goaltender, Tampa Bay isn’t in this position to three-peat. No way. We mean, Vasilevskiy boasts a .928 save percentage these playoffs against the stiffest of competition.
Getting Vasilevskiy at +400 feels like an absolute steal here. Seriously, how? After what he’s already done and how much credit he’s due to earn if he can slow down a red-hot Colorado offense, which we’re betting is exactly what happens. The Lightning will three-peat and Vasilevskiy will repeat as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Alright, for those that are picking the Avalanche to stop Tampa's three-peat, then your betting choice for the Conn Smythe should be Makar. It wasn't an easy choice picking him over Nathan MacKinnon, but when you look at how Colorado got here (they are 12-2 during the postseason), Makar has been a bigger driver of the team's success.
For one, Makar has tallied more points (22) than MacKinnon (18) during the playoffs. Per usual, Makar has contributed mostly through assists. He's up to 17 now, with five goals to complement. However, that should all be expected from a playmaker the caliber of Makar. What's more of a surprise is how effective of a two-way player Makar has been. That was especially apparent during the Western Conference Finals when Makar played admirably against Edmonton's Connor McDavid, who was trending toward an all-timer of a postseason (he racked up 33 points). If Makar fares similarly against the Lightning's best playmakers, he'll deserve all the credit he'll surely get.
Makar's +175 betting line isn't as valuable as Vasilevskiy, but hey, that's a testament to how good the defenceman is playing (and oddsmakers believing the Avalanche will win the series). He's a solid bet if you're not on the Tampa Bay bandwagon like we are.
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