Will Connor McDavid be Edmonton’s next buried superstar?
There’s no ambiguity whatsoever, make no mistake about it. Connor McDavid will be an Edmonton Oiler and Jack Eichel will be a Buffalo Sabre. The realization of McDavid going to Edmonton may be very painful for Sabre fans, but, it may be for the superstar himself as well.
Over the past few years Edmonton has not garnered the nickname “The Graveyard of Hockey” by happenstance. This year will be Edmonton’s fourth 1st overall pick in the past 6 seasons. However, the team hasn’t become an NHL powerhouse as a result of this abundance of youth and talent, they’ve done essentially the exact opposite. If you don’t believe it, here’s the facts.
2010: Taylor Hall: Edmonton’s 2010-11 season results: 25-45-12: 62 points, 5th in Northwest Division. Hall’s output: 22-20-42.
2011: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Edmonton’s 2011-12 season results: 32-40-10: 74 points, 5th in Northwest Division. Nugent’s output: 18-34-52.
2012: Nail Yakupov: Edmonton’s 2013 (48 game) season results: 19-22-7: 45 points, 3rd in Northwest Division. Yakupov’s output: 17-14-31.
So what that means is that the Edmonton Oilers have three of the NHL’s best young players on their roster, and they still can’t get it done. No disrespect to Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakupov, but McDavid is more touted than all three of them combined. He is the most anticipated draft pick in the NHL since Sidney Crosby. The difference: Crosby went to a team with potential to turn around and did exactly so when he arrived. McDavid is going to a team that has turned three of the once-brightest young-bloods in the game to practical nobodies. Who talks about Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, or Yakupov? None. So what does this mean for McDavid?
The Florida Panthers, who have a hard time getting even 10K fans per game, host this year’s NHL entry draft, scheduled for June 26. After the fans get done booing Gary Bettman out of the building (something I sincerely hope happens again), the Oilers will announce their pick of McDavid. Will the freak of nature help finally pull Edmonton out of the basement? Or will the Graveyard of Hockey bury yet another young star with unlimited potential? My money is on the latter.