Stanley Cup playoffs picks: Every first-round series

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 18, 2023

The six-month journey of the 2022-23 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 playoff MVP.

Jump ahead:



Stanley Cup champ

Conn Smythe

Atlantic Division

No. 1 Boston Bruins vs. No. 4 Florida Panthers

Sean Allen: Panthers in six

Blake Bolden: Bruins in five

Brian Boucher: Bruins in five

John Buccigross: Bruins in six

Ryan Callahan: Bruins in six

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Bruins in 5

Sachin Chandan: Bruins in five

Chris Chelios: Bruins in five

Ryan S. Clark: Bruins in six

Linda Cohn: Bruins in five

Ray Ferraro: Bruins in five

Leah Hextall: Bruins in five

Emily Kaplan: Bruins in five

Tim Kavanagh: Bruins in four

Don La Greca: Bruins in five

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Bruins in five

Steve Levy: Bruins in five

Vince Masi: Bruins in five

Victoria Matiash: Bruins in six

Sean McDonough: Bruins in five

Mark Messier: Bruins in five

AJ Mleczko: Bruins in five

Mike Monaco: Bruins in five

Dominic Moore: Bruins in six

Arda cal: Bruins in five

Kristen Shilton: Bruins in five

P.K. Subban:Bruins in five

Bob Wischusen: Bruins in five

Greg Wyshynski: Bruins in six

Consensus pick: Bruins (28 of 29 picks)

No. 2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

Sean Allen: Maple Leafs in seven

Blake Bolden: Maple Leafs in seven

Brian Boucher: Maple Leafs in seven

John Buccigross: Maple Leafs in five

Ryan Callahan: Tampa Bay in seven

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Maple Leafs in six

Sachin Chandan: Maple Leafs in seven

Chris Chelios: Tampa Bay in seven

Ryan S. Clark: Tampa Bay in seven

Linda Cohn: Maple Leafs in seven

Ray Ferraro: Maple Leafs in six

Leah Hextall: Maple Leafs in six

Emily Kaplan: Maple Leafs in seven

Tim Kavanagh: Tampa Bay in six

Don La Greca: Maple Leafs in six

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Maple Leafs in seven

Steve Levy: Maple Leafs in seven

Vince Masi: Maple Leafs in seven

Victoria Matiash: Maple Leafs in six

Sean McDonough: Maple Leafs in seven

Mark Messier: Tampa Bay in seven

AJ Mleczko: Maple Leafs in seven

Mike Monaco: Maple Leafs in six

Dominic Moore: Lightning in seven

Arda cal: Maple Leafs in four

Kristen Shilton: Maple Leafs in five

P.K. Subban:Lightning in six

Bob Wischusen: Maple Leafs in six

Greg Wyshynski: Maple Leafs in six

Consensus pick: Maple Leafs (22 of 29 picks)

Metro Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 New York Islanders

Sean Allen: Islanders in five

Blake Bolden: Islanders in six

Brian Boucher: Hurricanes in seven

John Buccigross: Islanders in seven

Ryan Callahan: Hurricanes in five

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Islanders in seven

Sachin Chandan:Islanders in six

Chris Chelios: Hurricanes in six

Ryan S. Clark: Hurricanes in six

Linda Cohn: Islanders in seven

Ray Ferraro: Hurricanes in six

Leah Hextall: Hurricanes in six

Emily Kaplan: Hurricanes in six

Tim Kavanagh: Hurricanes in five

Don La Greca: Islanders in seven

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Islanders in seven

Steve Levy: Islanders in seven

Vince Masi: Hurricanes in five

Victoria Matiash: Islanders in seven

Sean McDonough: Hurricanes in seven

Mark Messier:Islanders in six

AJ Mleczko: Islanders in seven

Dominic Moore: Islanders in seven

Arda cal: Islanders in seven

Kristen Shilton: Hurricanes in seven

P.K. Subban:Hurricanes in six

Bob Wischusen: Hurricanes in six

Greg Wyshynski: Hurricanes in seven

Consensus pick: Tied (each team has 14 of 28 picks)

No. 2 New Jersey Devils vs. No. 3 New York Rangers

Sean Allen: Devils in six

Blake Bolden: Rangers in five

Brian Boucher: Rangers in seven

John Buccigross: Devils in seven

Ryan Callahan: Rangers in six

Cassie Campbell-Pascall:Rangers in seven

Sachin Chandan: Devils in six

Chris Chelios: Rangers in six

Ryan S. Clark: Rangers in seven

Linda Cohn: Rangers in seven

Ray Ferraro: Rangers in six

Leah Hextall: Devils in six

Emily Kaplan: Rangers in seven

Tim Kavanagh: Devils in seven

Don La Greca: Rangers in six

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Devils in seven

Steve Levy: Rangers in seven

Vince Masi: Devils in seven

Victoria Matiash: Rangers in seven

Sean McDonough: Rangers in six

Mark Messier: Rangers in six

AJ Mleczko: Rangers in six

Mike Monaco: Devils in seven

Dominic Moore: Rangers in six

Arda cal: Rangers in seven

Kristen Shilton: Devils in seven

P.K. Subban:Devils in seven

Bob Wischusen: Rangers in seven

Greg Wyshynski: Devils in seven

Consensus pick: Rangers (18 of 29 picks)

Central Division

No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 4 Seattle Kraken

Sean Allen: Avalanche in seven

Blake Bolden: Kraken in six

Brian Boucher: Avalanche in five

John Buccigross: Avalanche in five

Ryan Callahan: Avalanche in five

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Avalanche in five

Sachin Chandan: Kraken in seven

Chris Chelios: Avalanche in five

Ryan S. Clark: Avalanche in seven

Linda Cohn: Avalanche in six

Ray Ferraro: Avalanche in six

Leah Hextall: Avalanche in five

Emily Kaplan: Avalanche in five

Tim Kavanagh: Avalanche in five

Don La Greca: Avalanche in five

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Avalanche in five

Steve Levy:Avalanche in six

Vince Masi: Avalanche in seven

Victoria Matiash: Avalanche in five

Sean McDonough: Avalanche in five

Mark Messier: Avalanche in seven

AJ Mleczko: Avalanche in five

Mike Monaco: Avalanche in four

Dominic Moore: Avalanche in six

Arda cal:Avalanche in six

Kristen Shilton: Avalanche in six

P.K. Subban:Avalanche in six

Bob Wischusen: Avalanche in six

Greg Wyshynski: Avalanche in five

Consensus pick: Avalanche (27 of 29 picks)

No. 2 Dallas Stars vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild

Sean Allen: Stars in five

Blake Bolden: Wild in seven

Brian Boucher:Wild in seven

John Buccigross: Stars in seven

Ryan Callahan: Stars in seven

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Stars in six

Sachin Chandan: Stars in five

Chris Chelios: Stars in six

Ryan S. Clark: Stars in seven

Linda Cohn: Stars in six

Ray Ferraro: Wild in seven

Leah Hextall: Stars in seven

Emily Kaplan: Stars in six

Tim Kavanagh: Wild in six

Don La Greca: Stars in six

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Wild in seven

Steve Levy: Stars in six

Vince Masi: Wild in seven

Victoria Matiash: Stars in seven

Sean McDonough: Stars in seven

Mark Messier:Stars in seven

AJ Mleczko: Stars in six

Mike Monaco: Stars in seven

Dominic Moore: Wild in seven

Arda cal: Stars in six

Kristen Shilton: Stars in seven

P.K. Subban:Stars in seven

Bob Wischusen: Stars in seven

Greg Wyshynski: Stars in seven

Consensus pick: Stars (22 of 29 picks)

Pacific Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 Winnipeg Jets

Sean Allen: Golden Knights in seven

Blake Bolden: Golden Knights in six

Brian Boucher: Golden Knights in five

John Buccigross: Golden Knights in six

Ryan Callahan: Jets in seven

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Jets in six

Sachin Chandan: Golden Knights in five

Chris Chelios: Golden Knights in six

Ryan S. Clark: Golden Knights in seven

Linda Cohn: Golden Knights in six

Ray Ferraro: Golden Knights in seven

Leah Hextall: Golden Knights in six

Emily Kaplan: Golden Knights in five

Tim Kavanagh: Golden Knights in six

Don La Greca: Golden Knights in six

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Golden Knights in six

Steve Levy: Golden Knights in six

Vince Masi: Golden Knights in six

Victoria Matiash: Golden Knights in six

Sean McDonough: Golden Knights in five

Mark Messier: Jets in seven

AJ Mleczko: Golden Knights in seven

Mike Monaco: Golden Knights in six

Dominic Moore: Golden Knights in seven

Arda cal: Golden Knights in seven

Kristen Shilton: Golden Knights in six

P.K. Subban:Golden Knights in six

Bob Wischusen: Golden Knights in six

Greg Wyshynski: Jets in six

Consensus pick: Golden Knights (25 of 29 picks)

No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Kings

Sean Allen: Oilers in four

Blake Bolden: Kings in seven

Brian Boucher: Oilers in seven

John Buccigross: Oilers in six

Ryan Callahan: Oilers in six

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Oilers in six

Sachin Chandan:Kings in seven

Chris Chelios: Oilers in five

Ryan S. Clark:Oilers in seven

Linda Cohn: Oilers in five

Ray Ferraro: Oilers in seven

Leah Hextall: Oilers in six

Emily Kaplan: Oilers in six

Tim Kavanagh:Oilers in four

Don La Greca: Oilers in six

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Oilers in six

Steve Levy: Oilers in seven

Vince Masi: Oilers in five

Victoria Matiash: Oilers in five

Sean McDonough: Oilers in five

Mark Messier: Oilers in six

AJ Mleczko: Oilers in six

Mike Monaco: Oilers in five

Dominic Moore:Oilers in four

Arda cal: Oilers in six

Kristen Shilton: Oilers in seven

P.K. Subban:Oilers in six

Bob Wischusen: Oilers in seven

Greg Wyshynski: Oilers in six

Consensus pick: Oilers (27 of 29 picks)

Stanley Cup champ

Sean Allen: Oilers

Blake Bolden: Bruins

Brian Boucher: Oilers

John Buccigross: Maple Leafs

Ryan Callahan: Oilers

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: Bruins

Sachin Chandan: Stars

Chris Chelios: Bruins

Ryan S. Clark: Bruins

Linda Cohn: Oilers

Ray Ferraro: Bruins

Leah Hextall: Oilers

Emily Kaplan: Bruins

Tim Kavanagh: Avalanche

Don La Greca: Bruins

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: Bruins

Steve Levy: Bruins

Vince Masi: Hurricanes

Victoria Matiash: Oilers

Sean McDonough: Bruins

Mark Messier: Rangers

AJ Mleczko: Bruins

Mike Monaco: Bruins

Dominic Moore: Golden Knights

Arda cal: Oilers

Kristen Shilton: Bruins

P.K. Subban: Bruins

Bob Wischusen: Bruins

Greg Wyshynski: Oilers

Pick breakdown: Bruins (15), Oilers (8), Maple Leafs (1), Stars (1), Avalanche (1), Hurricanes (1), Rangers (1), Golden Knights (1)

Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the playoffs)

Sean Allen: Connor McDavid

Blake Bolden: David Pastrnak

Brian Boucher:Connor McDavid

John Buccigross: Connor McDavid

Ryan Callahan: Connor McDavid

Cassie Campbell-Pascall: David Pastrnak

Sachin Chandan: Jason Robertson

Chris Chelios: David Pastrnak

Ryan S. Clark: Charlie McAvoy

Linda Cohn: Connor McDavid

Ray Ferraro: David Pastrnak

Leah Hextall: Connor McDavid

Emily Kaplan: David Pastrnak

Tim Kavanagh: Nathan MacKinnon

Don La Greca: Linus Ullmark

Peter Lawrence-Riddell: David Pastrnak

Steve Levy:Hampus Lindholm

Vince Masi:Sebastian Aho

Victoria Matiash: Connor McDavid

Sean McDonough: David Pastrnak

Mark Messier:Igor Shesterkin

AJ Mleczko: Linus Ullmark

Mike Monaco: David Pastrnak

Dominic Moore: Jonathan Marchessault

Arda cal: Connor McDavid

Kristen Shilton: David Pastrnak

P.K. Subban: Linus Ullmark

Bob Wischusen: David Pastrnak

Greg Wyshynski: Connor McDavid

Pick breakdown: Connor McDavid (EDM, 9), David Pastrnak (BOS, 9), Linus Ullmark (BOS, 3), Jason Robertson (DAL, 1), Charlie McAvoy (BOS, 1), Nathan MacKinnon (COL, 1), Hampus Lindholm (BOS, 1), Sebastian Aho (CAR, 1), Igor Shesterkin (NYR, 1), Jonathan Marchessault (VGK, 1)

Related Video