BP taps Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler as our early fave to take home the hardware as Stanley Cup playoff MVP for 2011.
Kesler can do it all. He’s the “second line centre” on the Canucks, which means he most often draws the assignment of trying to neutralize the other team’s top guys. In Vancouver’s current series against Chicago Blackhawks (the Canucks lead 3-0 after tonight’s game), Kesler is doing a masterful job taking key Hawks like Toews and Kane out of the equation. Kesler also regularly plays against top stars like Crosby, Ovechkin, Stamkos, Thornton, and the like.
But Kesler’s so talented that even as a checker, he produces offence (41 goals for the Canucks this year). So that means that other teams have to worry about him and his linemates, too. Plus, nobody plays the game with more heart and more smarts than #17.
Watch him as the Canucks eliminate the Hawks this week and move on toward a Stanley Cup…