As the Edmonton Oilers prepare for something they haven’t experienced in over a decade, the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, they do so with perhaps the best young leader in the game.
In two short seasons their captain Connor McDavid has gone from hot-shot phenom to team-leading superstar. His combination of speed, skill and dynamic offensive ability makes him arguably the best player in the world. Howevr, his underrated leadership skills are a big part of the reason why the Oilers find themselves back in the playoff picture for the first time since 2006.
“He’s embraced the role in the right way and put the team on his shoulders when we needed him,” said teammate Milan Lucic when asked about what McDavid has done so far as the Oilers’ captain. “He’s impressed me in just one year with how little help he needs…with just his professionalism,” Lucic added.
With 97 points in 80 games this season, McDavid is a lock to win this season’s Art Ross Trophy as the leagues top point producer. He's also the odds on favorite to take home the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP as well. But, maybe it’s time for fans and analysts to start judging McDavid’s value past just goals and assists?
At just 20 years old, McDavid shows the poise and composure of an NHL veteran. “It’s his calmness in the room and leadership abilities both on and off the ice. Guys can follow his lead,” said goaltender Cam Talbot on McDavid’s impact.
A leader in the making? Maybe, but his teammates would suggest he’s one of the league’s best already.