Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid isn’t your average 19-year old. McDavid was the first overall pick of the 2015 National Hockey League Draft and he was deemed as a savior for an Oilers franchise that has failed to make the playoffs since 2006. As a rookie, McDavid was living up to the hype in his first 13 games which saw him score 5 goals, along with dishing out 7 assists. But on November 3, 2015, things changed for McDavid when he crashed into a wall which was the result of a collision with Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning. McDavid suffered a broken collarbone which forced him to miss the next 37 games as the wind was taken out of the sails of the Oilers. In 45 games as a rookie, McDavid scored 16 goals and tallied 32 assists as he showed the folks in Edmonton how bright that the future could be if he would be able to stay healthy.
Heading into McDavid’s sophomore campaign, the maturation process is in full effect as the 19-year old was named captain of the Oilers. In 30 games this season McDavid has shined as he has 12 goals, and his 26 assists are tops in the National Hockey League. And as McDavid goes, so to do the Oilers who are currently just two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for first place in the Pacific Division.
McDavid has given the Oilers fan base hope. McDavid’s selection marked the fourth time since 2010 that the Oilers had the first overall pick in the National Hockey League Draft. But unlike left winger Taylor Hall, center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and right winger Nail Yakupov who is now a member of the St. Louis Blues who’ve been unable to provide a spark in Edmonton, McDavid has.
McDavid’s emergence in Edmonton has reignited the fan base in a way that we haven’t seen since the 1980’s when Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Craig MacTavish, and Paul Coffey were leading the Oilers to five Stanley Cup Championships from 1984-1990 as he makes the players around him better.
McDavid’s emergence coincides with the Oilers moving into a new home. The Rogers Place opened this past September as the new home of the Oilers after they spent the last 43 years at Rexall Place. And as the Oilers bid farewell to their old home in favor of the new one, they’ve enjoyed having some of the key cogs in their dynasty from the 1980’s return to the fold which along with the play of McDavid has created a buzz in Edmonton.
If McDavid is able to remain healthy this season, there’s a very good possibility that the Oilers should be able to end their long postseason drought, while he should be bound for the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game this February in Los Angeles as well as being in the running to win the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP. McDavid has yet to even scratch the surface as far as his potential as we cannot forget that he’s only 19-years of age. But then again McDavid is not your average 19-year old.