There is a storm coming for the Edmonton Oilers. All off-season, as the new arena has sat empty, one player has been putting on muscle, training hard and preparing for a historic sophomore season in the NHL.
Connor McDavid may have a lot of pressure on his young shoulders, but the 19-year-old has a certain poise, especially for a young man who could become the captain of a historic NHL franchise in the coming weeks.
He is able to handle pressure greatly and shows no worry, anxiety or stress when on the ice. McDavid knows his job, and it is to play the sport he loves and lead his team, as well as put up solid numbers.
What can we truly expect from the young sensation this season, and what is a reasonable point total number for him? Some believe McDavid should be capable of producing elite NHL points, while others are not expecting too much, considering his lack of experience and need for more development.
Though the 6-foot-1, 190-pound centre was sidelined for three months this past year, but still came in third for points per game with 1.07, only trailing Patrick Kane and Jamie Benn. With only 45 games played, he still managed to score more PPG than Sidney Crosby, Erik Karlsson and Evgeni Malkin.
McDavid’s skill stems from his impeccable stickhandling ability, as well as his speed and overall on-ice intelligence. The way he sees the game is a vision that only he has, and it is truly something amazing.
In the end, he has a lot of skill and ability that can help him not only become one of the NHL’s elite but make an impact as a part of the Oilers and help the team in the right direction.
I’m expecting 80 points from McDavid this season. If he could pull off 48 points in 45 games, especially given the severity of his injury and his quick recovery, I see him making a splash this season and doing things he was unable to do last year.
He is young, fast and even more developed, and given his supposed added strength, eagerness and displayed skill thus far at practice for the World Cup of Hockey, he is going to make quite the impact.
There is also more to expect off the ice; I fully believe he will become the captain of this hockey team. His voice is that of a leader, and despite his youth, his positive attitude, maturity and overall mentality as a hockey player helps influence his teammates and makes them buy in.
If McDavid becomes captain, many may worry that it will stifle his development. He already has the pressure on his shoulders to fix this team and turn around the Oilers, and captaincy is more of an honour and reward than a burden.
So, in the end, we can expect McDavid to make a deep impact on this team, and lead them in a way that a captain hasn’t in a long time. He will be the first step in changing the culture, changing the team and climbing the standings. It won’t be long before he’s considered among the NHL’s best – in some minds, he’s already there.