Picks: Every first-round series, plus Cup champion, Conn Smythe Trophy

The six-month journey of the 2023-24 NHL regular season is complete. Sixteen of the league’s 32 teams have been eliminated, and 16 have made the postseason bracket.

It’s time for ESPN’s hockey experts to serve up their picks on every first-round series, along with their calls on which team will skate with the Cup this June and which player will earn the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.

More: Playoff schedule
Lapsed fan’s guide
Top 50 players
Cup contender comps


First round

Atlantic Division


Sean Allen: Panthers in six
John Buccigross: Panthers in seven
Ryan Callahan: Lightning in seven
Sachin Chandan: Panthers in six
Ryan S. Clark: Panthers in seven
Linda Cohn: Lightning in seven
Ray Ferraro: Panthers in six
Leah Hextall: Panthers in six
Emily Kaplan: Panthers in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Panthers in seven
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Panthers in six
Steve Levy: Panthers in seven
Vince Masi: Panthers in six
Victoria Matiash: Panthers in six
Sean McDonough: Panthers in six
AJ Mleczko: Lightning in seven
Mike Monaco: Panthers in six
Arda Öcal: Panthers in four
Kristen Shilton: Panthers in seven
Bob Wischusen: Panthers in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Panthers in five

Consensus prediction: Panthers (18 of 21 picks)


Sean Allen: Bruins in six
John Buccigross: Maple Leafs in six
Ryan Callahan: Maple Leafs in six
Sachin Chandan: Bruins in seven
Ryan S. Clark: Bruins in seven
Linda Cohn: Maple Leafs in six
Ray Ferraro: Bruins in seven
Leah Hextall: Bruins in six
Emily Kaplan: Bruins in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Maple Leafs in six
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Bruins in seven
Steve Levy: Bruins in seven
Vince Masi: Maple Leafs in six
Victoria Matiash: Maple Leafs in seven
Sean McDonough: Bruins in seven
AJ Mleczko: Bruins in six
Mike Monaco: Bruins in six
Arda Öcal: Maple Leafs in four
Kristen Shilton: Maple Leafs in six
Bob Wischusen: Bruins in six
Greg Wyshynski: Maple Leafs in six

Consensus prediction: Bruins (12 of 21 picks)

Metropolitan Division


Sean Allen: Capitals in seven
John Buccigross: Rangers in five
Ryan Callahan: Rangers in five
Sachin Chandan: Rangers in five
Ryan S. Clark: Rangers in six
Linda Cohn: Rangers in seven
Ray Ferraro: Rangers in five
Leah Hextall: Rangers in five
Emily Kaplan: Rangers in six
Tim Kavanagh: Rangers in four
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Rangers in five
Steve Levy: Rangers in five
Vince Masi: Rangers in six
Victoria Matiash: Rangers in six
Sean McDonough: Rangers in five
AJ Mleczko: Rangers in five
Mike Monaco: Rangers in four
Arda Öcal: Rangers in four
Kristen Shilton: Rangers in six
Bob Wischusen: Rangers in five
Greg Wyshynski: Rangers in five

Consensus prediction: Rangers (20 of 21 picks)


Sean Allen: Islanders in six
John Buccigross: Hurricanes in six
Ryan Callahan: Hurricanes in five
Sachin Chandan: Hurricanes in five
Ryan S. Clark: Hurricanes in six
Linda Cohn: Hurricanes in six
Ray Ferraro: Hurricanes in five
Leah Hextall: Hurricanes in five
Emily Kaplan: Hurricanes in six
Tim Kavanagh: Hurricanes in five
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Hurricanes in five
Steve Levy: Islanders in six
Vince Masi: Hurricanes in six
Victoria Matiash: Hurricanes in five
Sean McDonough: Hurricanes in four
AJ Mleczko: Hurricanes in six
Mike Monaco: Hurricanes in five
Arda Öcal: Hurricanes in four
Kristen Shilton: Hurricanes in five
Bob Wischusen: Hurricanes in six
Greg Wyshynski: Hurricanes in five

Consensus prediction: Hurricanes (19 of 21 picks)

Central Division


Sean Allen: Stars in six
John Buccigross: Stars in seven
Ryan Callahan: Stars in seven
Sachin Chandan: Stars in six
Ryan S. Clark: Stars in seven
Linda Cohn: Stars in seven
Ray Ferraro: Stars in six
Leah Hextall: Stars in six
Emily Kaplan: Stars in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Golden Knights in six
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Stars in seven
Steve Levy: Stars in seven
Vince Masi: Stars in six
Victoria Matiash: Stars in seven
Sean McDonough: Stars in seven
AJ Mleczko: Stars in seven
Mike Monaco: Stars in seven
Arda Öcal: Stars in four
Kristen Shilton: Stars in six
Bob Wischusen: Stars in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Stars in six

Consensus prediction: Stars (20 of 21 picks)


Sean Allen: Jets in five
John Buccigross: Jets in seven
Ryan Callahan: Avs in seven
Sachin Chandan: Avs in seven
Ryan S. Clark: Avs in six
Linda Cohn: Jets in six
Ray Ferraro: Jets in seven
Leah Hextall: Jets in seven
Emily Kaplan: Avs in six
Tim Kavanagh: Jets in six
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Jets in seven
Steve Levy: Avs in seven
Vince Masi: Avs in seven
Victoria Matiash: Avs in seven
Sean McDonough: Avs in six
AJ Mleczko: Avs in seven
Mike Monaco: Avs in six
Arda Öcal: Avs in four
Kristen Shilton: Avs in seven
Bob Wischusen: Jets in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Jets in seven

Consensus prediction: Avs (12 of 21 picks)

Pacific Division


Sean Allen: Canucks in six
John Buccigross: Canucks in seven
Ryan Callahan: Canucks in six
Sachin Chandan: Predators in six
Ryan S. Clark: Predators in seven
Linda Cohn: Canucks in six
Ray Ferraro: Canucks in six
Leah Hextall: Canucks in six
Emily Kaplan: Canucks in six
Tim Kavanagh: Predators in six
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Predators in six
Steve Levy: Canucks in five
Vince Masi: Predators in seven
Victoria Matiash: Canucks in six
Sean McDonough: Predators in six
AJ Mleczko: Predators in six
Mike Monaco: Predators in seven
Arda Öcal: Predators in four
Kristen Shilton: Canucks in seven
Bob Wischusen: Canucks in six
Greg Wyshynski: Predators in seven

Consensus prediction: Canucks (11 of 21 picks)


Sean Allen: Kings in seven
John Buccigross: Oilers in seven
Ryan Callahan: Oilers in five
Sachin Chandan: Oilers in five
Ryan S. Clark: Oilers in seven
Linda Cohn: Oilers in six
Ray Ferraro: Oilers in six
Leah Hextall: Oilers in six
Emily Kaplan: Oilers in six
Tim Kavanagh: Kings in seven
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Oilers in five
Steve Levy: Oilers in five
Vince Masi: Oilers in six
Victoria Matiash: Oilers in six
Sean McDonough: Oilers in five
AJ Mleczko: Oilers in five
Mike Monaco: Oilers in six
Arda Öcal: Oilers in four
Kristen Shilton: Oilers in five
Bob Wischusen: Oilers in five
Greg Wyshynski: Oilers in five

Consensus prediction: Oilers (19 of 21 picks)

Stanley Cup

Sean Allen: Stars
John Buccigross: Oilers
Ryan Callahan: Oilers
Sachin Chandan: Stars
Ryan S. Clark: Stars
Linda Cohn: Rangers
Ray Ferraro: Stars
Leah Hextall: Stars
Emily Kaplan: Rangers
Tim Kavanagh: Golden Knights
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Stars
Steve Levy: Rangers
Vince Masi: Hurricanes
Victoria Matiash: Hurricanes
Sean McDonough: Hurricanes
AJ Mleczko: Hurricanes
Mike Monaco: Hurricanes
Arda Öcal: Maple Leafs
Kristen Shilton: Hurricanes
Bob Wischusen: Hurricanes
Greg Wyshynski: Oilers

Prediction breakdown: Hurricanes (7), Stars (6), Oilers (3), Rangers (3), Golden Knights (1), Maple Leafs (1)

Conn Smythe (MVP of the playoffs)

Sean Allen: Wyatt Johnston
John Buccigross: Connor McDavid
Ryan Callahan: Connor McDavid
Sachin Chandan: Jake Oettinger
Ryan S. Clark: Jake Oettinger
Linda Cohn: Igor Shesterkin
Ray Ferraro: Miro Heiskanen
Leah Hextall: Jake Oettinger
Emily Kaplan: Artemi Panarin
Tim Kavanagh: Jack Eichel
Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Jason Robertson
Steve Levy: Igor Shesterkin
Vince Masi: Andrei Svechnikov
Victoria Matiash: Sebastian Aho
Sean McDonough: Jake Guentzel
AJ Mleczko: Frederik Andersen
Mike Monaco: Sebastian Aho
Arda Öcal: Auston Matthews
Kristen Shilton: Jake Guentzel
Bob Wischusen: Sebastian Aho
Greg Wyshynski: Connor McDavid

Prediction breakdown: Connor McDavid (3), Jake Oettinger (3), Sebastian Aho (3), Igor Shesterkin (2), Jake Guentzel (2), Wyatt Johnston (1), Miro Heiskanen (1), Artemi Panarin (1), Jack Eichel (1), Jason Robertson (1), Andrei Svechnikov (1), Frederik Andersen (1), Auston Matthews (1)

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