WORDS AND MUSIC ON CONNOR MCDAVID

The draft lottery means there’s a lot more focus (among Oilers fans) on Connor McDavid. We all know he’s touched by God, this is a young man who was famous early on. We’ve seen the video, heard the words, cheered at the World Juniors. How much do we know about Connor McDavid beyond the hype?

I had an opportunity to speak with Corey Pronman of ESPN today on the Lowdown and he delivered a fantastic view of the best player in the 2015 draft. Corey doesn’t like to use comparables and in this case I agree—the idea here is to get a feel for the player without overhype. WHAT is he like as a player?

THE OVERVIEW

  • “McDavid’s skating, his puck skills, his offensive IQ are among the highest grades you’d give to a prospect in those areas.”

Edmonton Oilers fans are used to reading glowing scouting reports about impressive teenage hockey players, but even for us this is an impactful description. The verbal surrounding this player is beyond what we’ve seen in previous seasons. This doesn’t mean we put him in the HHOF, but the words here are important. He would certainly be considered one of the best prospects over the last dozen years.

  • “I‘m not going to say he has no weaknesses. Anybody who has watched him could say there are some physical elements that could improve in terms of his overall build.”

During our conversation, I asked Corey about McDavid possibly starting his NHL career on the physical elements. Pronman suggested that although the young man is a very capable center in junior that might be a consideration early in his career due to age and physical maturity.

  • He’s very advanced defensively, he was one of Erie’s best penalty killers all season. There are so many positive thing about him, in terms of his character and how he plays the game.”

One of the things I always look for in scouting reports is a ‘range of skills’ because the more things you can do the more ways available to make and have an impact in the NHL. McDavid appears to have a complete skill set (with the understanding we’re talking about a teenager and that may impact his physical game).

  • “He’s probably one of the best fore-checkers I’ve seen at this age, because his skating is so exceptional, his work ethic is exceptional and he’s so smart, his hockey sense is so elite maybe even pushing generational.”

We’ve seen RNH display similar skills, it’s a big deal because so much 5×5 offense comes off good situations created by turnovers. Broken plays represent an enormous number of chances at evens, and dogged determination married to elite skill is a fabulous combination.

  • “He anticipates the play so well, in terms of knowing how to attack defenders, using his speed to obstruct the play. When you look at his puck skills, the unique plays he makes, the in tight creative moves, there’s just so many ways he creates offense.”

This is a key element, because once you create an opportunity, the hard part begins. Cashing on a sortie is damn difficult, anyone who saw Todd Marchant or Andrew Cogliano as Oilers knows that to be true. McDavid’s sublime skills make him a high percentage player in those moments of opportunity, adding to his effectiveness.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Connor McDavid is a stunning talent and absolutely a game changer for the organization. He also appears to be a young man with a substantial skill set beyond delivering insane offense. I suspect that’s going to get lost over the next couple of months, but it’ll be something to look for in the fall should the Edmonton Oilers do the obvious and use their selection on the young man.

      • Coppperhead

        They did not win 4 lotteries. In 2011 (RNH year) New Jersey won the lottery. However under those rules they could only move up 4 spots and the Devils drafted 4th (up from 8th). Edmonton retained the 1st overall selection.

        Instead ask: what was the statistical chance of the Oilers drafting 1st in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015?

        Answer: 0.5 % or 1 in 200

        • 916oiler

          The odds of you being conceived are about 1 in 100 million, and yet here you are.

          The odds of anything happening anywhere at any time, at every moment of every day are near impossible if you consider all factors leading up to the event, and yet things continue to happen.

          We live in an improbable world. Winning 4/6 lotteries was likely the most probable result considering how improbable it was.

          I have no idea what I am saying right now!!!

        • Craig1981

          I get .34%, but we are close. But that is being selective in your odds.

          The odds the Oilers would win the lottery 4 times in the last 9 years is much more indicative of our luck. And a much stronger indication of how lucky the Oilers have been. Far above the .5% chance odds

          We are still very lucky, but not 1-200 lucky.

    • paul wodehouse

      Coppperhead…maybe get a McJesus jersey…you’d look really dreamy in THAT…btw …no one gets to buy a McDavid jersey by a licenced jersey dealer / retailer until Connor McDavid actually IS an Edmonton Oiler…currently he’s the property of The Erie Otters…

  • Armchair_Gm

    I love how McDavids pops straight out told him “don’t be that guy!”. All of these pundits showing their blue and white colours is so funny. Drink it in Toronto, we got the saviour of the league. And he already has his weapons beside him. The Oilers and McDavid will be lighting up NHL defences for years to come.

  • Armchair_Gm

    There are no McDavid Oiler jerseys available yet, but some outlets will make one for you, Copperhead. It is very simple to take an Oiler blank jersey, add McDavid’s name-bar and 97. I was told by one jersey outlet it takes two weeks to get it sent away to have name and number sewed on, 45 minutes to get name and number pressed on. $200. I would have done it but they had only had the white jersey and I want the blue. The guy said they had already done one.

  • ubermiguel

    I believe the oilers line up looks like this right now

    Pouilot hopkins eberle
    Hall mcdavid purcell
    Pitlick Roy yakupov
    Klinkhammer Gordon Hendricks

    ? ?
    Klefbom Shultz
    Fayne ference/nikitin/nurse/marincin

    ?
    Scrivens

    • 3rd Laraque From The Sun

      The Oil should follow the Detroit model and use their picks and fill holes with free agents. Spend extra money on free agent dmen and employ cheaper decent goaltending. With mcDavid and new management it should be easier to attract better free agent. First order of business buy out Nikitan. Then don’t qualify Schultz, cut him loose there vare better free agents out there for the same money. Bring in P.Martin, C,Franson and F.Beauchemin for defence. Then bring in Neuvirth or Ramo as your goalie. Nurse and Dri start in AHL. Sign Roy to a two year contract(you can probably get him cheaper now after Saturday). I’d keep Yak and Roy together and stick Lander on wing with Hall and McDavid. Hall can freestyle like he does and McDavid and Lander can do the backchecking. Here are the lines.
      Pouliot Nuge Eberle
      Hall McDavid Lander
      Purcell Roy Yak
      Klink Gordon Hendricks

      Fayne Beauchemin
      Klefbom Franson
      Martin Marincin
      Ference

      Ramo or Neuvirth/ Scrivens

      Dri eventually replaces Purcell and Nurse replaces Ference. Sign Beauchemin and Martin to three year contracts and Franson to 4-5 years.

      • Craig1981

        Not a bad plan at all… I like your line of thinking. I agree at minimum 2 out of the 3 Ference/Nikitin/Schultz need to be gone. If they only get rid of 1 or God forbid none? They are not getting a sniff at playoffs. To me what they do with those 3 players this summer is MacT’s final test. We wait.

    • Randaman

      He was raised in Nova Scotia, away from the “centre of the universe”

      Even his parents were smart to get out of the concrete jungle.

      I don’t hate people from Toronto, just idiotic, bitter Leafs fans.

  • Armchair_Gm

    All im saying is Jack Eichel is considered a cant miss top prospect himself, i know we get lost in the hoopla of getting the mcdavid pick but if we can get another star player plus other good players plus a pick i dont see what the negative is. People are saying mcdavid is the best prospect since lemuix or crosby. They combined have two Stanley cups. Just pointing out that the oilers could improve on several aspects rather than just one

  • 5 Cups

    I live in Calgary and the sour grapes going around here is unreal.
    “McDavid won’t help”
    “They’ll ruin him”

    I cannot defend the management of the team. We will see what Nichols does
    But the young guns in Edmonton aren’t ruined, just no supporting cast..

    Oh and by the way incase you haven’t heard Johnny H and Boring sean are the next Toews and Kane (according to Flames fans). Wow!

  • 916oiler

    There are rumours linking Edmonton to seabrook in Chicago due to there very small cap space available in guessing either klefbom and the pit pick or marincin the pit pick and there second what would you do?

  • Armchair_Gm

    That’s a poor comparison. Nobody ever said Muller was as good as lemuix or Ryan as good as crosby. I could say what about Malkin in the ovechkin draft, or seguin in the hall draft. Or any other draft in Nhl.history where there were more than.one.excellent player in a draft

    Eichel is considered to be a superstar. He would have gone first ahead of any other first overall on this team, and in a lot of the other drafts lately. I just find it amusing to think he wouldn’t be just as valuable to this team, besides you get other good.potentially great players in.the trade.

    • Tikkanese

      Ok in all honesty Eichel looks to be a phenom as well. So the premise of your question of should they consider a possible deal is not that absurd. But consider what could go wrong. By all accounts McDavid is the clear #1 pick.. It may be close but there’s a reason Buffalos Tim Murray reacted how he did when losing the lotto. The other thing is we are talking about a “Canadian Kid” here. A can’t miss franchise star Canadian kid! Tell me that this fanbase is going to be happy with giving him away? Bad future Karma there if you ask me. The Oiler management team is frequently guilty of having the smartest man in the room syndrome. But I’m willing to bank they draft McDavid. It’s the right move.

  • nuge2drai

    Oiler Domination To Follow…

    Oilers games are going to be so much more fun to watch.

    National audience tuning in every night, tons of games on the second half of cbc saturday nights.

    The team now has a chance at a premier coach.

    The team now has a chance at bringing in free agents.

    The core is going to be rejuvenated.

    The team will no longer have an excuse to lose.

    Losing will now be considered unacceptable, by media, fans and the hockey world.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    Wonder what it would take the free OEL from the clutches of the Coyotes. Going to need a couple blueliners if we want to avoid being regular season road kill.

    Draisaitl, Marincin and the Oilers first in 2016?

    • DonEnrico

      Ha ha, you have actually started to sound quite positive lately. Don´t tell me that you have the feeling that Oilers might have turned a corner due to some unexpected turn of events?

      • Joe Mamma

        If you don’t think that you are a pessimist, ignorant, or both. If you cannot see that this situation is a game changer for the oilers then your cognitive capabilities should be questioned as far as I’m concerned.

  • Before the lottery I was actually getting sick and tired of all these McDavid articles and stories on TV and what not; as I had pretty much accepted the fact that the Oilers would move down to the 4th pick.

    But now all I do now is troll the internet and TV for every single McDavid story I can find, I can’t get enough!!!

  • McChickenpi

    The idea of cutting Jultz loose is ridiculous. He’s terrible. We can all agree on that. BUT… no so long ago teams around the NHL were lining up to sign him out of college. How about we sign him to a reasonable two or three year deal… Then how about we use this new NHL caliber coach to use the kid properly. Offensize zone starts and PP time. You know… NHL stuff. Let’s get this….stud’s….value back up to retrieve something next offseason. GM’ing and organizational posturing is key to recoup as many assets as possible. Jultz will not hurt us if used as a PP specialist and bottom pairing guy. Get a couple picks back for him. Just don’t give away something for nothing. We are not winning the cup this upcoming year…Well…Probably not. Never say never after all this has unfolded.

    Yes the window has now shortened but why all the talk of bad asset management, guys. The OBC now has one last chance to right this dirty, old ship.

    In one year from now this is the team I think SHOULD be in the lineup first night in Rogers Place. Ill explain my vision of getting there after I announce this kick ass lineup.

    Pouliot-Nuge-Eberle… 16 M
    Hall-McDavid-Lucic…13 M
    Lander- Soderberg – Yakupov…7.5 M
    Kilnk-Gordon-Hendricks….5.5 M

    Franson-Klefbom… 6 M
    Seabrook-Nurse…. 7 M
    Fayne – Ellis 4.5 M

    Niemi/Scrivens 7.5 M

    Lucic is not a must. We just need a player like him. I think Pouliot would like nice next to Hall and Mcdavid too. Basically a second Pouliot type player. With a meaner streak would be nice.

    I’m not sure where Drai fits in. I don’t think he fits into the plan anymore. I want him too. Realistically, we can’t keep this kid as a 3C. Nuge is just filling into a 2C role… Maybe 1 C by next year. McDavid could need a little time to fill into a NHL 1C. So Drai’s ceiling is 3C for the first 5-7 years of his career. That’s a problem. Play him with McDavid. PP time. Give him Hall and/or Eberle as needed this upcoming year and get his value up. Trade him for a legit young NHL dman. Maybe a Ryan Ellis type player and a forward prospect like an Andrew Shaw in the making type player. Maybe you can get a pick out of it. Who knows depending on the exact players involved.

    Sign Soderberg this offseason for 3-3.5 M. He is an awesome C and fits into the “3rd scoring line” role we ‘want’ but also is a real 3C. Kill penalties and what not. Let’s not forget Hockey is a game of many facets. I, for one, do not want Mcdavid and Hall killing penalties.

    Go get a Franson in FA this year and sign him as a core piece. 5 M x 5 years is fine… we just paid Nikitin 4.5 M …… I’m looking at you MacT. Alberta tax is relatively friendly. This could be enough. Maybe 6. It still might be worth it for Franson’s prime years. Speaking of that Olympic caliber guy… Buy him out and make Katz literally pay for his managements incompetencies.

    Swing for the fences on a Seabrook. It might not take as much as we think. Chicago is pinching pennies. They basically let Leddy walk. They had to. Give them a pick this year and next. Seabrook is a legit option here.

    I think Gordon needs to be rewarded for what he has provided the oilers with over the past two years. He is one of the best 3/4 C’s in the game.

    Go get Niemi. He has a cup on a team that looked a lot like the Oilers will in 2-3 years. If not, find a legit #1. Don’t commit to him though. Get him on a two year if possible and let the kids taste what it feels like to have a goalie steal one, once in a while. Try to sign the O’connor kid. Why not try to pay Sean Burke… Why not.

    As crazy as some of this sounds. If you were Cody Franson… Or Soderberg and someone said we will overpay you a tad to be a core piece on a team showcasing Mcdavid among others. You would think about it.

    Every asset we have needs to be properly assessed.
    We need to get assets back for what we now have.
    No one can be let to walk.
    We got Mcdavid.

    We still need a team around the 7-8 guys we now have. Maybe yak has to go when he’s in line for a new deal . If he does.. We NEED to get something back for a former 1st overall pick. It doesn’t make sense to waste all of this luck we have had.

    Patience and boldness wrapped into one tight little ball is the only way we watch the kids lift the cup.

    Don’t trade away all of our picks. We will needs the shelves stocked to replace guys when we get into the same issues that Chicago is having now. It will happen sooner than we think so drafting in the later rounds, finding value from those picks, will have to be a top priority of the organization. What does everyone think.

  • Serious Gord

    We need to look at everything not just McD . We have him, Nurse Leon Hall RNH Ebs Yak Lander Klefbom Pouliot with a few others Shultz and Fayne a 4 th line with Gordon but McT must add a Goalie and T least 1 D . Sure I would love to make the playoffs this year but next year we loose Gordon, Gazdic , Nikitin , Purcell , Scrivens that’s $16 mill so we must look at the big picture of making and staying in the post season for a decade . Do this right and we are there for years . Don’t just start buying out players now and look at the big picture .

  • Jprime

    Think of this. We are drafting what the “experts” call a generational player. A player like Crosby.

    He will win. He needs to be surrounded by winners.

    Right now the current management are losers and have created a culture of losing.

    They must be replaced before McDavid comes in, or the same problem that got us into this mess will still be here and all the bad decisions that go along with Lowe and Mac T.

    McDavid will be good, but needs a good suporting cast or it means nothing.

    Get rid of Lowe and Mac T and bring in a winner. Now is the chance to grab a top GM, who will be exited to come because of McDavid. Use the opportunity to change the whole culture with this kid.

    Otherwise, the culture of losing will still have deep roots.