Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl look to power the Edmonton Oilers to the playoffs

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are absolutely lighting up the NHL. As of February 9th, they are the top two scorers in the league, McDavid with 27 points and Draisaitl with 25. As of right now, they are on pace for 108 and 100 points respectively. If McDavid can keep up this pace he is currently on, when the season finishes, he will have more points than the league’s leading scorer in six of the last ten years, in a season that is only 56 games long. Draisaitl likely won’t finish far behind him either, and it’s extremely possible that he could finish with more points than McDavid. 

Now in his 6th season in the league, Connor McDavid has consistently been the best player in the NHL over the past few years. He has only finished under the 100 point mark twice, once in his first season due to an injury that caused him to miss almost half of the year, and last year due to the COVID pandemic (he had 97 points when the league was shut down). He is constantly on highlight reels for his insane goal scoring capabilities, and elite passing ability. He is a truly complete player. 

Leon Draisaitl has put up very similar numbers to McDavid in the past two years. In fact, since the start of the 2018 season, he has only 3 less points than his teammate. Draisaitl’s talent truly came to the forefront in the 2018-2019 season when he had 50 goals and 55 assists for 105 points which was 28 more than his previous season high. He has a ridiculous shot and silky hands which make him one of the most dangerous forwards in the league.

So now the question is, how come they can’t win a championship with arguably the two best players in the league? Probably an even better question to ask would be, why can’t they even make the playoffs? It starts with the team they have been so unlucky to be drafted by, the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have a history of success, having had the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, for the better part of the 80’s, and winning four Stanley Cups with him. But ever since 2006 when they lost in the finals, they have made just a single playoff appearance.

Oilers management struck gold by getting McDavid and Draisaitl, but they have made some notoriously bad draft picks in the last 10 years, most notably picking Nail Yakupov first overall in 2012. Yakupov never scored more than 17 goals in a season, and has since been exiled from the NHL. In fact, the Oilers have had a whopping four number 1 draft picks in the last 10 years, and only 2 of the picks are still with the organization, McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Nugent-Hopkins has been a good player for the Oilers, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to the expectations that were set for a top draft selection.

Along with questionable draft choices, they just haven’t been able to get a top defenseman. The Oilers defense has been consistently at the bottom of the league for a long time now. It has been difficult for the team to win games because they have been relying on the offense to score five or six goals a night to win games, which is just too much to ask for, even with McDavid and Draisaitl on the team. For example, so far this season, as McDavid and Draisaitl are on a tear in the scoring category, the team is only 7-7 and has a goal differential of minus 1.

Regardless of how the team does however, you can be sure to see McDavid and Draisaitl put up record scoring numbers in the future. These two guys have what it takes to lead an offense to a Stanley Cup Championship, the only question is whether the rest of the team can pull their weight to help the Oilers return to the playoffs.

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