Connor McDavid's quest for history with the Edmonton Oilers

While Connor McDavid may not be playing quite as well as last season for the Edmonton Oilers, he's still on course to again put his name in the record books.

Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers
Boston Bruins v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

While the Edmonton Oilers fell short of their ultimate goal last season, it was still a special campaign for Connor McDavid individually speaking. His 153 points were the most by a player since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96, as he swept the board by winning the Art Ross, Hart Memorial, Ted Lindsay and Rocket Richard trophies.

McDavid will be the first to admit he hasn't quite performed at the same level this season and yet he's still having an excellent campaign, which speaks to just how special he truly is. Further, he's also on course to once more put his name in the record books.

The 2015 first overall draft pick started the 2023-24 campaign with 'only' 16 points in his first 16 games. Since then however, he's been on a tear which could see him finish the season with 100 assists.

At the time of posting, McDavid has 72 assists in 55 games, which also leads the NHL (six ahead of the Lightning's Nikita Kucherov, who has played 61 games). Factoring in that he has -- so far -- missed two games through injury, he's currently projected to finish the regular season with 105 points in 80 appearances.

Special place in NHL history

If the 27-year-old does achieve this feat, he'd become just the fourth person in NHL history to finish a season with 100 points. This would understandably be a remarkable accomplishment for a player who has continually racked up an impressive array of accolades during a career which is now in its ninth season.

The three players to achieve this impressive landmark include Lemieux, Bobby Orr and (unsurprisingly) Wayne Gretzky. Lemieux and Orr both reached the 100-assist mark once -- 114 and 102 respectively -- while Gretzky achieved it an incredible 11 times, highlighted by a never-to-be-beaten NHL record 163 helpers in 1985-86.

It was just last season that McDavid set a new personal best of 89 assists, which you would expect him to surpass even if he for some reason doesn't reach the magic 100 plateau. More generally speaking he also recently surpassed 90 overall points for the eighth consecutive season which, as per NHL public relations, is tied for the third longest sequence in NHL history. (Gretzy has 13 consecutive seasons, while Mike Bossy is second with nine straight campaigns.)

The consummate teammate

What's interesting about McDavid's pursuit of history, is that he recently tied his career-long drought of 10 consecutive games without scoring a goal. During that same sequence of games, he had 23 assists.

However, the seven-time All-Star didn't seem particularly concerned about his scoreless run. In fact he even made a joke about it when speaking to the media on Monday, as he said: "I’ve decided I’m just going to see how many assists I can get. That’s the focus. I’m not going to shoot the puck anymore. I’m not going to score any more goals."

Just in case anyone didn't realise he was joking -- and you never know these days -- McDavid did then immediately clarify his comments. He said: "Obviously of course I want to score. I want to produce. I want to help this team any way I can, and scoring goals is part of that."

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Certainly, no matter how McDavid contributes it does benefit the Oilers, although there is an argument to be made that more goals from him would conceivably help more. Consider that since the All-Star break the Oilers are just 6-5-1, with him only scoring twice, in the first game back versus the Vegas Golden Knights and Wednesday night's most recent game against the St. Louis Blues.

Overall though, this is turning into another special season for the Oilers captain, who is third in overall points scoring at the time of posting. Qualifying for the playoffs and making a serious run at the Stanley Cup of course remain the main goals, but if he does indeed reach 100 assists in the process, it certainly won't hurt the team's chances.

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