Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, and Leon Draisaitl. They are
all tied up at 17 points on the season, except the fact that Leon Draisaitl hasn’t wasted any
time getting there.
It’s been just ten games. Ten games since the broad shouldered
German began his second season in the NHL. Ten games since he was given
a chance to redeem himself for the crime of not being ready to be a top six player in the best league in the world as an 18 year old.
And what a ten games it has been.
As per the Elias Sports Bureau (via Jack Michaels), Leon
Draisaitl’s incredible 17 points in his first 10 games of the year are the most
by any Oiler since Mark Messier did it in the Fall of 1989. And, honestly,
picking up 17 points in 2015 compared to 17 points in 1989 just feels like a
significantly more difficult task. 1989-1990 saw the NHL have 13 different 100
point scorers and another 12 in the 90’s. Last year the NHL’s leading scorer totalled
just 87 points.
At the time of writing this piece Leon Draisaitl has the
highest points per game in the National Hockey League at 1.70, well clear of
Pat Kane’s 1.55 per game. In half the amount of games as everyone else he has climbed to second among Oiler scorers and 27th in league scoring.
The cries today aren’t about when this young man will ever
find a way to factor onto the scoresheet. No, now the talk is about
sustainability. It’s unlikely that Draisaitl
continues on a pace that sees him finish north of 120 points.
Draisaitl’s shooting percentage is out of control right now.
With seven goals on 20 shots, number 29 is rocking a 35% shooting percentage. The
highest sh% from a year ago was Tanguay’s 21.2%. So even if we believe that
Leon has morphed into a super-sniper we should still expect his shooting
efficiency drop by at least half.
Sustainable or not, what the former third overall
pick is doing is incredible. While he’s riding this wave we should be able to
sit back and enjoy a special level of play we might not see again for a long
time (or until McDavid gets back, whatever).
During these 10 games Draisaitl has been held pointless only
twice. He’s has registered one point twice, two points three times, and three points three times. On his
current five game point streak he has picked up 10 points.
No matter how we slice it, the offensive production is
The chemistry has come so naturally between Hall and
Draisaitl that the 20 year old has stepped into the role of 1C almost seamlessly. Even if the points slow to a more natural level, he has established
that he can indeed play alongside Edmonton’s top talent and contribute. He
opens up a world of possibilities for the Oilers when they become healthy
As offense in the NHL is inclined towards duos more so than
trios, the Oilers when healthy will have a ridiculous set to roll out against
the opposition. Soon enough the Oilers could conceivably go
Leon Draisaitl’s first ten games of the season have been
nothing short of unbelievable. However longer we may get to watch him and
Taylor Hall combine for goals, it will be a treat. When things slow down
though, Edmonton will still have that big, skilled centre they’ve been crying
out for during this rebuild.