Best NHL Playoff Prop Bets for May 16 (Can Sebastian Aho Lead Hurricanes To Game 7)

Sebastian Aho has gone quiet over the last two games, but the Hurricanes have perserevered to win two straight. They'll need more from their star if they want to make it three.
Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho
Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The Eastern Conference semifinal can end on Thursday night, while a 2-2 deadlock out West will get some much-needed clarity.

The Carolina Hurricanes were in danger of elimination via sweep for the second consecutive year. However, they've rallied back with two straight wins to force a Game 6 against the New York Rangers at home.

The Edmonton Oilers thought they had run out of answers going into Game 4, which led them to make the panic move of starting journeyman Calvin Pickard. The risk paid off, as the Oilers stole a 3-2 victory to tie the series at 2-2.

Here's how I would attack tonight's slate from a player prop perspective.

NHL Playoffs Prop Bets for May 16

  • Sebastian Aho OVER 2.5 Shots on Goal
  • Vincent Trocheck OVER 2.5 Shots on Goal
  • Leon Draisaitl OVER 3.5 Shots on Goal

Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Sebastian Aho OVER 2.5 Shots on Goal

Sebastian Aho was shut down in Game 1, getting just one shot on goal in the Hurricanes' series-opening loss. The Finnish forward managed two assists in the game but didn't get the kind of high-danger chances he's used to getting. That changed in Games 2 and 3, when Aho tallied 12 shots total.

The pendulum swung the other way in Games 4 and 5, as Aho recorded three shots. However, the ironic thing is that the Hurricanes won both games to make the series 3-2. Aho had six assists in the series' first three games, but the Hurricanes had an 0-3 record to show for it. In Games 4 and 5 where the Hurricanes won, Aho had just one assist.

It's a strange statistical outlier that the Hurricanes' best offensive forward was lights out in all the losses but quiet in the wins. That can't continue if the Hurricanes want to go any further, which makes Game 6 one of the most important games of Aho's season and career.

Vincent Trocheck OVER 2.5 Shots on Goal

The opposite of what we said for Aho can be said for Trocheck.

Trocheck was phenomenal in the first three games of the series, recording two goals and four assists to help the Rangers grab a 3-0 lead over his former team. It hasn't gone as well over the last two games, with Trocheck being held off the scoresheet and the Rangers losing both games.

Like Aho, Trocheck knows that he must step up to get his team a win, and I expect him to do it as well. Trocheck's points may be inconsistent, but he is getting pucks on the net at a good rate. He is averaging exactly three shots per game during this playoff run and has gone over 2.5 in five of his last six games.

Leon Draisaitl OVER 3.5 Shots on Goal

The Vancouver Canucks have emphasized stopping Connor McDavid in this series. The only problem is that the Oilers have two all-world forwards, and the other one dominated in the first four games.

Draisaitl has three goals and seven assists so far, and with two games left to play guaranteed, he could put up an astonishing number before it's all said and done. Rick Middleton holds the record for most points in a single series, tallying 19 in a seven-game series in 1982-83. If this series goes seven and Draisaitl averages three points per game, he could tie that mark.

More importantly for us, Draisaitl has 16 shots over the first four games and has gone over 3.5 in three straight. If he continues to focus on shooting, he should hit the number again on Thursday.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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