Predicting the Conn Smythe Trophy Winner: Why Cale Makar is the Front-Runner for Playoff MVP

The Conn Smythe Trophy Race: Cale Makar Takes the Lead

The recently awarded Norris Trophy winner, Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, is quickly becoming the favorite for the prestigious Conn Smythe Trophy as well. Given annually to the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Conn Smythe Trophy could soon find its place in Makar’s impressive collection if the Avalanche manages to clinch the Stanley Cup Final.

Makar’s Dominance Shines

Throughout the postseason, Makar has established himself as a force to be reckoned with. With seven goals and 20 assists in the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup run, his performance on the ice speaks volumes. These outstanding numbers only add to the impressive 86 points he accumulated in just his third NHL season.

Avalanche winger Andrew Cogliano expressed his admiration for Makar, stating, “It’s impressive what he’s been able to do in such a short time in his career, and there is not enough you can say about him. I don’t think I’ve seen a focus in a younger player like him in my whole career, how he approaches the game, how he prepares. With him, it’s the habits that make him special… it really, really makes him such a dominant player.”

Makar’s impact in the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning has been undeniable. Scoring twice and providing three assists, he played a pivotal role in giving the Avalanche a 3-1 lead thus far. Even the Lightning players have acknowledged Makar’s incredible abilities, with defenseman Mikhail Sergachev describing him as “special” and emphasizing his speed, intelligence, and unpredictability.

Contenders in the Race

Although Makar seems to have a firm grip on the Conn Smythe Trophy race, there are other notable contenders who could still make a late surge.

Center Nathan MacKinnon, with 12 goals in the playoffs, has been a vital contributor to Colorado’s success. His dynamic play on the ice makes him a potential candidate for the prestigious award. Winger Mikko Rantanen, with five goals and 20 assists, has also caught the attention of analysts and fans alike. Their contributions cannot be overlooked, even if they find themselves in the shadow of their remarkable teammate.

Conn Smythe Trophy Odds

If we consider the odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook, it’s evident that Makar’s dominance is being recognized:

  • Cale Makar: -480
  • Nathan MacKinnon: +460
  • Mikko Rantanen: +1000
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy: +1700
  • Nikita Kucherov: +2000
  • Gabriel Landeskog: +2600

Despite the odds, it’s important to note that the Conn Smythe Trophy race can take unexpected turns.

Vasilevskiy’s Potential Comeback

The goaltender for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Andrei Vasilevskiy, could prove instrumental in changing the trajectory of the Conn Smythe Trophy race. If the Lightning manages to win the final three games and secure their third consecutive Stanley Cup, Vasilevskiy’s outstanding performances might push him to victory.

Vasilevskiy has certainly demonstrated his ability to rise to the occasion throughout the playoffs. Despite facing challenging games, he has consistently thwarted opposing offenses. The Russian veteran holds an impressive 13-8 record, accompanied by a .257 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage in the playoffs this year.


Cale Makar’s remarkable performance throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs has firmly established him as the frontrunner for the Conn Smythe Trophy. His dominance on both ends of the ice, coupled with his impressive stats, make a strong case for him to claim the trophy.

However, the race is not over yet, and contenders like Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen should not be underestimated. In addition, Andrei Vasilevskiy’s potential comeback and his ability to elevate his game when it matters most adds another layer of excitement to the race.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a defenseman win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Yes, there have been several instances where defensemen have won the Conn Smythe Trophy, showcasing their valuable contributions to their respective teams’ playoff success. Notable examples include Bobby Orr, Brian Leetch, and Duncan Keith.

2. What other factors are considered when awarding the Conn Smythe Trophy?

While individual performance plays a significant role, the Conn Smythe Trophy also takes into account a player’s impact on the team, leadership qualities, and crucial moments in key games. The overall influence a player has on the team’s playoff run is crucial in determining the winner.

3. How is the Conn Smythe Trophy winner chosen?

The Conn Smythe Trophy winner is decided through a vote conducted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The votes are cast at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final and remain anonymous until the award ceremony.

4. Has a goaltender ever won the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Absolutely, goaltenders have frequently been recognized as the most valuable players in the playoffs. Legendary netminders such as Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Dominik Hasek have all earned the Conn Smythe Trophy for their outstanding performances between the pipes.

5. Are the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Stanley Cup awarded simultaneously?

No, the Conn Smythe Trophy is awarded following the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final, while the Stanley Cup itself is presented to the winning team immediately after their decisive victory in the Final game.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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