The Edmonton Oilers haven’t been the picture of success in the NHL. They also haven’t had Connor McDavid play a full NHL season. Many feel that’s the key for the Oilers to sustain a winning record, and it’s the absolute truth.
McDavid was viewed as a can’t miss prospect when he was drafted first overall at the 2015 NHL Draft. Edmonton didn’t hesitate to place him in their opening night lineup. Unfortunately, they didn’t get to feel the full impact of McDavid as he suffered an injury which kept him out for a majority of the season.
Despite being on the injury report, McDavid was able to play in 45 games. Remarkably he put up 48 points over the course of his rookie season, putting him over a point per game pace. This left Oilers fans salivating, as they might have found the answer to their problems.
Over the offseason, Edmonton made a trade acquire defenceman Adam Larsson for a star player, Taylor Hall, a 65 point player in the 2015-16 season. He was a former 80 point scorer and was arguably the Oilers best offensive threat.
There is no doubt the loss of Hall will be felt on this team, but as McDavid grows more accustomed to the NHL, it won’t become like a big of a factor. McDavid might be the best scoring threat since Sydney Crosby, and is capable of putting the entire Edmonton franchise on his back.
The Oilers feature a slew of talent on its roster including Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Milan Lucic, and Leon Draisaitl. That’s why it’s so shocking to hear reports of McDavid being selected as the teams captain this upcoming season. At 19-years-old, he’d be one of the youngest captains in NHL history if it were to be true.
That’s the type of impact McDavid needs to have on this team for them to be successful. We could be talking about McDavid being the best player in the league in two or three years. And by doing that he will make Edmonton that much better.
Follow Daniel James Gentile on Twitter @dgentleman9288