In his second NHL season, Connor McDavid captained the Edmonton Oilers to a playoff berth and clinched the Art Ross Trophy — at the age of 20.
A generational talent armed with blazing speed and terrific skills with the puck, capable of keeping up with his fast feet, McDavid was the only player in the league this season to eclipse the 90-point mark. He entered the final day of the regular season needing only two points versus the Vancouver Canucks to reach 100.
McDavid recorded his 100th point with an assist in the third period against the Canucks.
The fact no other player, including Sidney Crosby, reached 90 points just goes to show how difficult it is to attain such lofty totals during this day in age in the NHL.
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McDavid was all alone challenging for 100. He had a huge impact on the breakout season of Patrick Maroon and another solid year for Leon Draisaitl. That trio dominated the opposition at five-on-five.
Another key to McDavid’s terrific sophomore season? Unlike his time as a rookie, in which he suffered a shoulder injury that reduced his highly anticipated debut season to just 45 games, he remained healthy, playing the full 82-game schedule.
Despite the injury, he gave everyone a strong sense he was capable of really breaking out and challenging for the Art Ross against the game’s established elite in just his second year.
He delighted Oilers and hockey fans all season long with one highlight after another of spectacular goals.
“I have had the honour of being around tremendous players in my day,” said Oilers coach Todd McLellan, per the Globe and Mail. “Connor is at a high level now, and is separating himself from other guys in the league.
“He has been remarkable, really.”
Now, will his spectacular season earn him the Hart Trophy?
For the second time in his career, Sidney Crosby has captured the Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard Trophy as the NHL’s leading goal scorer. He didn’t play in Sunday’s season finale, but finished with 44 goals, which was four better than his nearest challengers — Auston Matthews and Nikita Kucherov.
Crosby, 29, managed to achieve that goal total despite missing the first six games in October because of injury.
He finally made his season debut on Oct. 25 and immediately began ripping it up with eight goals in his first six games. He finished second to McDavid in the Art Ross race.