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SportDraisaitl’s season shows Oilers’ hope goes beyond McDavid

23:05  15 march  2019
23:05  15 march  2019 Source:   nbcsports.com

McDavid scores, Oilers beat skidding Senators 4-2

McDavid scores, Oilers beat skidding Senators 4-2 Connor McDavid scored a slick goal, Mikko Koskinen made 35 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the league-worst Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday night. Sam Gagner, Colby Cave and Zack Kassian also scored for the Oilers, who stopped a two-game skid. Chris Tierney and Mark Borowiecki scored for the Senators, who lost their sixth straight, and Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots in his ninth straight defeat. It was the first home game for Ottawa since Mark Stone was traded to Vegas, but thanks to McDavid the Senators had one of their biggest crowds of the season.

Leon Draisaitl (German: [ˈdʁaɪ.zaɪt.l̩]; born 27 October 1995) is a German professional ice hockey forward for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Draisaitl grew up playing hockey in Germany until he was selected second overall in the 2012 CHL Import Draft by the Prince

Draisaitl was born in Cologne, Germany, where his father, Peter, played professionally. But the younger Draisaitl blossomed with Prince Albert in the Western Hockey League. In 2015 the Oilers sent Draisaitl to Bakersfield, their American Hockey League affiliate, to start the season .

Draisaitl’s season shows Oilers’ hope goes beyond McDavid© Getty Images

If you scan a list of the NHL’s leading scorers, one name might surprise you: Leon Draisaitl.

Heading into Friday’s games, the Edmonton Oilers forward ranks sixth with 89 points, and his 42 goals leave him second only to Alex Ovechkin.

When you hear people express disbelief that the Oilers can fail this hard with Connor McDavid on their roster, perhaps that shock should be adapted to also include Draisaitl.

To some extent, that only makes the Oilers’ mismanagement more damning. They’ve landed a superstar in McDavid, someone between a star and a superstar in Draisaitl (depending upon your taste), and oodles and noodles of draft lottery luck, yet they find themselves in this profoundly sad state.

Draisaitl, Koskinen help Oilers upset Blue Jackets 4-0

Draisaitl, Koskinen help Oilers upset Blue Jackets 4-0 Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists, Mikko Koskinen made 30 saves and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Saturday. The Oilers used a three-goal second period to pull away from the Blue Jackets, who had won three of four and are fighting to stay above the wild-card line in the Eastern Conference. BOX SCORE: OILERS 4, BLUE JACKETS 0 Koskinen improved to 18-15-4 with his fourth career shutout - all this season. Zack Kassian and Alex Chiasson also scored for the Oilers, who are 4-1-1 in their last six after a five-game losing streak. Connor McDavid had three assists.

HC at Noon gets into a healthy debate on whether the Edmonton Oilers have a good enough roster for the quick fix that new head coach Ken Hitchcock can

Still, Draisaitl was paid more than any of his comparables in the NHL by about .5 million dollars a season because he was going to be the 2C of the Oilers As was a concern when the contract was being negotiated, the Oilers are effectively paying for McDavid twice with Draisaitl ’ s massive contract.

That’s grim in the present, yet the “they have McDavid and Draisaitl” talking point should at least provide Oilers fans with at least some faint hope for the future.

Now, no doubt, Oilers fans are probably jaded. They’ve heard one too many times about an alleged light at the end of the tunnel.

Well … sorry. Let’s try to squint to see some light.

More on Draisaitl’s year

Before I delve a little deeper, it’s fair to provide some qualifiers regarding Draisaitl’s 42 goals and 89 points in just 70 games.

For one thing, there’s no denying that Draisaitl’s numbers are buoyed by the time he’s spent with McDavid. Anyone with a pulse would see their production improve alongside number 97, and Draisaitl is no different.

That said, it’s not like Draisaitl is wholly tethered to McDavid in the way that, say, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon barely ever play a shift without each other. As Natural Stat Trick’s listings show, McDavid is Draisaitl’s most common even-strength partner (648:10 with), yet Draisaitl’s also spent 435:24 without him.

Oilers, Sabres sagging despite being led by McDavid, Eichel

Oilers, Sabres sagging despite being led by McDavid, Eichel Edmonton and Buffalo are still enduring growing pains four years after the Oilers chose Connor McDavid and Sabres selected Jack Eichel with the top two picks in the 2015 draft. The two so-called "once-in-a-generation" talents have both become the faces of their respective teams but have failed to transform them into contenders. Sabres forward Kyle Okposo says it's too much to ask one player to make a difference.

Edmonton Oilers ' Connor McDavid skates during a break in play during the first period of a The Oilers haven't reached the playoffs in nine years. With McDavid have come changes. McDavid has been paired in the preseason with Taylor Hall on left wing and either Leon Draisaitl or Teddy Purcell

McDavid sets up Kassian' s goal. Draisaitl pots SHG on the rush. If it' s possible for a teenage phenom to exceed the hype, then that' s what McDavid did in his rookie NHL season with the Edmonton Oilers .

The Oilers can wrestle with the loading up versus spreading the wealth question for years, but either way, it seems pretty clear that Draistail is for real.

This season’s numbers won’t be easy to match, though. Before 2018-19, Draisaitl showed some goal scoring ability, generating 29 in 2016-17 and 25 last season. His 42 goals come on an inflated 21.4 shooting percentage, much higher than his-already-fairly high career percentage of 15.7.

That number’s almost certain to go down, although maybe not catastrophically so if Draisaitl sticks with McDavid more often than not. (McDavid’s really that special.)

The best other pieces

Whether Draisaitl slides in on McDavid’s wing or serves as the 2C, the Oilers have two pieces just about anyone would clamor for at forward. So, what else?

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: Somehow, he’s only 25; it feels like he’s been suffering in Edmonton for our natural-born lives.

Oilers score 3 in second-period, rally to beat Sabres 4-3

Oilers score 3 in second-period, rally to beat Sabres 4-3 Kyle Brodziak scored the go-ahead goal to cap a three-goal outburst over the final 3:31 of the second period, and rallied the Edmonton Oilers to a 4-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. Leon Draisaitl scored his team-leading 41st and added an assist, to extend his point streak to 11 games in which he had combined for nine goals and eight assists. Connor McDavid set up two goals in a game Edmonton overcame a 3-1 second-period deficit. Defenseman Darnell Nurse and Zack Kassian also scored for Edmonton, which won its third straight in closing a five-game trip at 4-1-1.

Draisaitl may also justify his hefty price tag. McDavid honestly cut the Oilers a relative deal by taking .5M instead of the maximum. The Oilers have serious questions to answer with Darnell Nurse and Ryan Strome. Also, will they need to let Lucic-like winger Patrick Maroon go ?

Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Connor McDavid had three assists in their reunion as linemates as the Oilers snapped a season -high four-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. “Leon probably could have won the scoring race tonight, alone, had he found a

Maybe RNH won’t ever dazzle quite at the level that you’d want from a top overall pick, but he’s a steady scorer, generating 22 goals already this season (two short of his career-high), and already set a new career-high with 58 points.

Nugent-Hopkins seems like a perennial trade rumor target, but Edmonton would be smart just to keep him. Much like with Draisaitl, RNH gives Edmonton some versatility. He can be a center, or also give McDavid a more talented winger than the Oilers have normally been able to furnish. At this prime-age and at an affordable $6M cap hit through 2020-21, RNH is a nice asset.

(You could argue that maybe there could be actual value in trading RNH but … *gets interrupted by Oilers fans shrieking at the mention of another risky trade*)

Oscar Klefbom – A very good, very affordable, defenseman in his prime at 25. Even more than RNH, thank goodness the Oilers didn’t recklessly trade Klefbom for peanuts.

Varied value

Jesse Puljujärvi – Look, for all we know, he really might be a lost cause.

But even if he is, and the Oilers decide to part ways with Puljujärvi, they likely wouldn’t have sold lower than if they moved him during this fraught, lost season.

McDavid’s latest 100-point season puts him in rare company

McDavid’s latest 100-point season puts him in rare company He has now done something that only seven other players in the history of the league have done. That list: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Stastny, Crosby, Dale Hawerchuk, Ovechkin, and … Mike Rogers. Rogers is the obvious name that doesn’t really seem to fit there, and his three 100-point seasons came when he was in his mid-20s after player several years in the WHA as a member of the Hartford Whalers. All of the other players were between the ages of 18 and 23 when they did it.

Know more about Leon Draisaitl . The german hope in the NHL. On october 3rd my team the Edmonton Oilers play an exhibition game in Cologne Germany against the Kölner Haie. After our game in Cologne we will start our regular season with a game in Gothenburg against the New Jersey

The most interesting Draisaitl / McDavid comparison is the performance of those two players’ respective lines when they’re together and when they’re apart Instead, they’ll pay for what he did on a line with the guy who should be the NHL’s MVP this season . Edmonton will just have to hope that Draisaitl ’ s

And there’s a possibility that things could go very right. Maybe a new coach would give the 20-year-old a clean slate? Perhaps he’s just a guy, but one who might sign a team-friendly contract as an RFA this summer?

His development could be key in the Oilers giving their top guys crucial support. There’s plenty of room for growth, and it’s not that outrageous to picture Puljujärvi actually figuring things out.

Kailer Yamamoto, Evan Bouchard – For Peter Chiarelli’s many many many foibles, he seemed to fall in line with conventional wisdom in recent drafts, which feels like a good thing. That can always change, as prospects are tough to project, but players like Yamamoto and Bouchard might be able to provide future boosts. That’s important if the Oilers remain cap-crunched thanks to lousy contracts like those of Milan Lucic and Kris Russell.

Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse – We can go back and forth about how valuable these two defensemen are. Opinions likely range based on the ups and downs of their seasons. But, really, both have reasonable-enough contracts, and can probably help a team win. They sure beat many of the Oilers’ other options, whether they are in the system or free agency.

(Maybe a trade would actually make sen—*interrupted by another shriek*)

Andrej Sekera – It’s been a lost season for the veteran defenseman, but maybe he’s not as “done” as he seemed?

McDavid scores in OT to lead Oilers past Coyotes 3-2

McDavid scores in OT to lead Oilers past Coyotes 3-2 Connor McDavid scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, to lead the Edmonton Oilers to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. BOX SCORE: OILERS 3, COYOTES 2 McDavid beat Darcy Kuemper from out front 58 seconds into the extra period for the Oilers, who are 8-3-1 in their last 12 games while making a late playoff push. It was the third overtime goal of the season for McDavid, who also had an assist earlier in the game. Matt Benning also scored for Edmonton, and Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves to win for the sixth time in his last seven starts.

Since Draisaitl ’ s contract signing, one thing I have heard a lot of people say is that this spells the end of Nuge He spent less time with McDavid this season than Mark Fayne – who played all of half an hour the If you’re going to compare Nuge with someone (like Draisaitl ) who gets a sh*t ton of time with

Gene Principe caught up with Oilers defenceman Kris Russell following Edmonton' s 3-2 overtime victory against New Jersey.

The 32-year-old’s been limited to 12 games played so far, and hasn’t scored much (two assists) or logged big minutes (16:33 TOI average), yet Sekera’s possession numbers are strong enough to prompt some positive thinking. If nothing else, maybe Sekera could take minutes from lesser defensemen, like Russell?

***

The Oilers have some fantastic pieces (McDavid, Draisaitl), and some undeniable problems (bad contracts, executive who still might not “get it”).

Ultimately, there’s no downplaying how important it is to hire the right GM, and to make sure that no one gets in the way, bungling things like always. It would be convenient if this was just a matter of Chiarelli messing things up, but Edmonton’s issues extend well beyond Chiarelli’s era of errors.

The thing is, if a new GM hit the right notes, the Oilers could actually become a team worthy of McDavid’s and Draisatil’s time — and maybe turn things around pretty quickly.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Related slideshow: 2018-19 NHL Season (Provided by imagn)

Draisaitl’s season shows Oilers’ hope goes beyond McDavid

Connor McDavid’s 40th goal of the season is absurd.
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