I’ve always considered the Edmonton Oilers my second favourite hockey team. I remember them being an underdog in a playoff series against Dallas in the early 2000s and I’ve been cheering for them ever since.
I think within the next five to ten years, the Leafs and Oilers will face each other in the Stanley Cup Final, if not sooner. It’s bound to happen.
Connor McDavid (C) – He’s going to be the best player in the NHL for the next 15+ years and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Oh and he’s extremely fast.
Leon Draisaitl (C/RW) – He is the Malkin to McDavid’s Crosby. He’s signed on for the next 8 years and will probably win multiple Cups over that span. He’ll be really good if the Oilers put him on the second line; he’ll be great if he’s with McDavid on the top line.
Milan Lucic (LW) – Don’t mess with the kids on the team or you’ll have Lucic to answer to. He’s the perfect bodyguard and not a bad source of offense. His 25 power-play points last season were far and away a career high.
Notable – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (C), Kailer Yamamoto (RW), Patrick Maroon (LW)
Oscar Klefbom (24) – For years, the Oilers were in need of a puck-moving defensemen who could also play solid defense. Well, here’s their answer. On this team, he could creep up on 40 points every season.
Adam Larsson (24) – This is the guy the Oilers traded Taylor Hall for and everyone thought the Oilers got swindled. It turns out, Larsson is exactly what this team needed. He’s an imposing presence on the blue line.
Notable – Darnell Nurse (22), Matt Benning (23)
Cam Talbot (30) – Talbot started 73 games last season, won 42, had a 2.39 GAA, and a .919 Save Percentage. He also took them to within one win of a conference final. I’d say he’s become one of the best goaltenders in the league – something the Oilers have desperately needed.
Laurent Brossoit (24) – I can’t see the Talbot starting as many games as he did last season, which means Brossoit will probably be called upon anywhere between 15-20 times.
1. The Oilers made the playoffs last year for the first time since making the Stanley Cup Finals (and losing) in 2006.
2. This season marks the second year in their new arena – Rogers Arena.
3. The arena is so big that they were selling playoff tickets last year to fans who would only have access to the main concourse. I’d love to know how many of them were able to sneak into a seat.
4. The Oilers had the 1st overall pick in the draft in 2010 (Taylor Hall), 2011 (Ryan Nugent-Hopkins), 2012 (Nail Yakupov), and 2015 (Connor McDavid). Hall and Yakupov are no longer with the team and Nugent-Hopkins still hasn’t lived up to his potential. Huh.
WHAT CHRIS THINKS
Edmonton lucked out when they got McDavid. They went from being a laughing stock to a Stanley Cup contender. You know you are bad when the league needs to change the draft rules because you have had the first overall pick for almost half a decade.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid. Connor McDavid.
I don’t know how teams are supposed to stop him unless they turn the ice surface into quicksand. He is so fast and so talented, you almost have to hope that he trips over his own feet, or comes down with a case of “the runs” during the game.
I think the Oilers will be in the Western Conference Final this season. What they do beyond that, I’m not sure. I see them representing the West in the Stanley Cup Final multiple times in the near future. This year could be the first.
The other teams in the Pacific Division wish they were located somewhere else.
ONE WILD PREDICTION
Connor McDavid will put up 130 points. This might not even be that wild.
Alternate “Wild” Prediction: McDavid scores 60 goals.
How far do you think the Oilers will go this season?