Forward Jonathan Marchessault won the Conn Smythe Trophy as his Vegas Golden Knights won the Stanley Cup on Tuesday.
Marchessault was second in playoff scoring behind teammate Jack Eichel with 25 points. He led the playoffs with 13 goals with Leon Draisaitl as the Knights stormed the field to win their first Cup in franchise history.
The winger led the streak with his 13 goals and 23 points in the last 15 playoff games. He appeared in the closing game in the 9-3 loss and scored 4 goals and 8 points in the Stanley Cup final series.
The Golden Knights edged the plucky Florida Panthers in five games to claim the ultimate prize after knocking out the Winnipeg Jets, Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars en route to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Despite doubts about Vegas’ win-at-all-costs trade policy and cap situation, the win justifies Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon’s aggressive pursuit of the title.
Marchessault, from Quebec, is the first French-Canadian player to win the Conn Smythe in two decades since JS Giguere won in a losing effort in 2003, and the last undrafted player to win the award since Wayne Gretzky’s last win in 1988. He is one of six original Vegas Golden Knights on the team’s 2023 vintage.
The Golden Knights won their first Stanley Cup in just their sixth season since joining the league in 2017. Their failure in 2021-22 was the only time in team history that it did not participate in the playoffs. The previous fastest expansion team to win the trophy, the 1973–74 Philadelphia Flyers, won after its seventh season.
Other contenders for the prize were Mark Stone (9P in SCF), Jack Eichel (26P), goaltender Adin Hill (11-4) and Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk (4GWG).
Vegas will be optimistic about their chances of repeating the feat in the coming seasons as superstar Eichel, top defender Alex Pietrangelo and captain Stone are all under contract until at least 2026.