Connor McDavid. The next captain for the Edmonton Oilers? I think so.
By the end of the year it became obvious that Connor McDavid was bound to be the leader for this Oilers team. This team, which has had 4 of the last 7 first overall draft picks, has continually struggled to make it into the playoffs since their loss in the Stanley Cup Final in the 2005/06 season. Nonetheless, Connor McDavid seems to be their savior. Many say one man can’t change a team, although is that the case here? I’m not sure that it is. With McDavid on the ice the Oilers are a much better team.
Being only 19, McDavid would then become the youngest NHL captain in league history.
There have been a lot of young, talented captains before him. Detroit’s Steve Yzerman, at 21, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, at 20, and Vincent Lecavalier, at 19. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby received the C as a 19 year old, but he had already played two full seasons in the NHL.
Despite a shortened sophomore season last year, where he missed 37 games due to a broken clavicle, McDavid scored 48 points in 45 games and was clearly the leader for the Oilers on most nights.
Already this year, after returning to the team from the World Cup, McDavid’s leadership qualities have been unmistakable. Winger Milan Lucic, the former Los Angeles King and Stanley Cup winner with the Boston Bruin, told Oilers TV he quickly noticed how the 19 year old carries himself.
“It’s great to see a 19 year old who’s a guy who loves the game, and loves his teammates,” Lucic said after practice earlier this week.
“I think the potential is definitely there. He’s mature, a very mature young man. It’s surprising that he’s only 19 years old, the way he carries himself. I think that’s what’s going to make him a great leader, possibly at some point the next captain of the Oilers.”