RALEIGH, N.C. — With soon-to-be four teams remaining in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the most valuable player race is heating up.
The Seattle Kraken and Dallas Stars will face off in a decisive Game 7 on Monday to establish who will join the Vegas Golden Knights, Carolina Hurricanes, and Florida Panthers in the Conference Finals.
The Edmonton Oilers were eliminated by Vegas on Sunday, removing three of the top four playoff scorers to date from the conversation. That would be Connor McDavid (20 points), Leon Draisaitl (13 goals and 18 points), and Evan Bouchard (17 points).
The top three scorers still in the mix? Roope Hintz of the Stars, Matthew Tkachuck in Florida, and Jack Eichel of the Golden Knights.
Hintz's case would be strengthened with a Game 7 win over the Kraken, but at present, Eichel and Tkachuk sit tied for second in FanDuel's Conn Smythe odds, behind Sebastian Aho of the Hurricanes. That despite Aho being well behind on the points leaderboard:
- Tkachuk: 12 games played, five goals, 11 assists
- Eichel: 11 games played, six goals, eight assists
- Aho: 11 games played, five goals, five assists
Still, Aho is at +650 while Eichel and Tkachuk come in at +750, followed by Mark Stone at +850.
Hintz, by the way, is currently +1700.
Now, don't sleep goalies as potential difference makers. Both Frederik Andersen in Carolina (+900) and Sergei Bobrovsky (+1000) are currently among the favorites, but there's another guy in Vegas worth keeping an eye on: Adin Hill.
Hill was forced into Game 2 of the series against the Oilers following an injury to Laurent Brossoit, and proceeded to win three of the next four games en route to the series win. And that's no small feat considering the firepower in Edmonton.
Hill posted a save percentage of .934 against the Oilers, and will get consideration if he keeps that going in the next two rounds.
As far as Seattle goes, Philipp Grubauer (+3500) is their favorite.
The picture will get clearer after Monday's Game 7 between Dallas and Seattle.