McDavid Hits a Milestone: The Race to 100 Adjusted to the 2005-2006 Season

This past Wednesday, the Hockey Jesus himself hit 100 points in just 92 games with an assist against the Florida Panthers. That pace put him fourth among active players, behind Alex Ovechkin (77 games), Sidney Crosby (80) and Evgeni Malkin (89).

After recording another assist in that game, he went on to beat the Panthers in overtime with just 2.6 seconds left, giving him 102 points in just 92 games. The OT winner was also a can’t-miss goal-of-the-year candidate (and it could have been save-of-the-year material is Reimer had just held his ground).

Adjusting for the 2005-2006 Season

Both Crosby and Ovechkin reached 100 in their rookie season (2005-2006). That year the NHL average spiked up to 6.16 goals per game. After getting 85 points in 78 games as a rookie in 2006-2007 (5.90 goals per game), Evgeni Malkin reached 102 points 11 games (he had 3 points in that game) into the 2007-2008 season (5.56 goals per game).

McDavid notched 48 points in his first 45 games in 2015-2016 (5.42 goals per game on average), reaching 102 points 47 games into the current NHL season, where the average is currently set at 5.52 goals per game.

For the record: Crosby hit a clean 100 points in 80 games with three assists against the New York Islanders on April 17, 2006. Ovechkin did the same after 77 games with an OT winner against the Boston Bruins on April 10, 2006.

(Numbers courtesy of

If we use Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie season as the benchmark, then scoring was at 95.77% in 06-07 and 90.26% in 07-08. Those are the seasons Malkin took to hit one hundred.

If we look at McDavid’s seasons, the drop in scoring is even more prominent (87.99% in 15-16 and 89.61% in 16-17).

So adjusting Malkin and McDavid’s first season (and a bit) to Crosby and Ovechkin’s rookie year:

Malkin 1  1.09 pts/g x 1.0423 = 1.14 pts/g adj

Malkin 2  1.55 pts/g x 1.0974 = 1.70 pts/g adj

McDavid 1  1.07 pts/g x 1.1201 = 1.20 pts/g adj

McDavid 2  1.15 pts/g x 1.1039 = 1.27 pts/g adj

Which, translated to the number of games it would take over those respective seasons to hit one hundred, would look like:

Malkin 1  89 points in 78 games

Malkin 2  11 points in 7 games

…for 100 points in 86 games.

McDavid 1 54 points in 45 games

McDavid 2 46 points in 36 games

…for 100 points in 81 games.

While Malkin gets a bit of a boost adjusting to the offensive firestorm that was the 2005-2006 season, McDavid gets a huge push due to the decreased scoring in recent years, more specifically the past two seasons.

The final post-adjustment rankings end up looking like: Ovechkin (77 games), Crosby (80 games), McDavid (81 games) and Malkin (85 games). The exercise gives us a better look at just how spectacular McDavid has been in his first two seasons, playing in an NHL where goals are just that much harder to come by than they were only a decade ago.

        • 24% body fat

          100 percent, that who i wanted chia to sign.

          What would the standings be if we got Johnson and flames had gustavosson. We would have 4 more points and flames would have 8 less.

          Spyder: as for Eberle, right now Astro boy is the superior player. Does he regress like eberle? maybe. But I think 29 Gms would take JG over Eberle.

          • pkam

            Here is the comparison of their stats from NHL so far this year:

            Eberle: 32 pts (0.65 ppg), 10 hits, 19 bks, 24 GA, 21 TA in 49 games.

            JG: 29 pts (0.74 ppg), 4 hits, 6 bks, 59 GA, 17 TA in 39 games.

            Eberle is 6.0M and JG is 6.75M.

            I think the two players are pretty close if you only consider salary and point production and ignore the other stats.

            Do you hate Eberle? Do you think he is soft and lazy? Now what do you think about JG? Eberle haters complain Eberle turn over pucks, how do you like JG’s GA/TA ratio?

    • Johnny Hockey looks like he wants to play somewhere else. Treliving does not have a contract for next year. I am sure their mandate is the same as ours, be better than your provincial rivals. As that mandate has not been achieved, Burke will throw him under the bus to save his own skin. Sounds familiar.

  • Been there

    McDavid is a great generational player, but it is still a team game, even Gretzky said he needed the likes of Kurri, Messier and The others to succeed.
    As for Johnson, I am willing to bet that close to the deadline and the Flames being out he can be had for not very much. No way Flames are signing him to be a #1 next year.

  • positivebrontefan

    That’s an interesting look at those numbers.
    Would be neat to see where Gretzky and Mario ended up in comparison.
    Thanks for the hard work on this.

    • tkfisher

      Not really, because it isn’t even close. McDavid is by far and away a more talented player than The Great One has ever been. That being said, Wayne was better in comparison to his peers than Connor is. The league is far more competitive and all players are more talented across the board than at any time in history. I’d say 80-90% of NHL players from the 80’s would have a tough time cracking an NHL roster today based on talent and skill alone.

      • BlueHairedApe

        Gretzky in his prime would be the best player in the league right now. He was a better pure goal scorer than McDavid and also had the most gifted cerebral understanding of the game. If he were playing today he was also competitive enough to train as hard as today’s player knowing that’s what he would have to do to stay on top. Perhaps you never saw him play?

      • The Dave

        This comment is a mess. The only reasonable comparison someone can ever make is against peers. You say 80-90% of NHLers from the 80s wouldn’t make the NHL, but there were also fewer teams. If you go back to the time of Rocket Richard, there were only 6 teams instead of 30, so while the talent pool may not have been as deep the fact is 80% of todays players DEFINITELY wouldn’t have had jobs because there weren’t any. For point of reference, that makes the NHL of that era more elite than the Olympic teams of today. If you are wondering what the Montreal Canadiens were like, the Team Canada of today is the closest thing you will see to them.

        Meanwhile you assume that we would put the players of yesteryear into the league today without any of the advantages our modern players enjoy: salaries that allow them to train in the office season rather than going back to work at a normal job. Hockey development programs, lighter and better equipment, a less violent league that protected them from more injuries… today’s players likely wouldn’t survive a game against the Philadelphia Flyers from ’74 (they had a single player with 472 penalty minutes). I think of a guy like Johnny Gaudreau playing them. The way he went down after the slash he took this season makes me suspect he wouldn’t last long against the Flyers. Even if they couldn’t catch him during the play they’d just injure him after the whistle. He wouldn’t be the first guy they gave a tap to.

        Finally, a few players have had very long careers that span multiple generations of NHL peers. Sometimes these players even have brief absences, and that gives us a look at how stars from previous generations would handle playing against players from subsequent ones. Teemu, at the age of 40, had the same points per game as McDavid has now. Scoring has gone down a bit, so he pro-rates to a measly 1.00P/G. It’s comparable to how he did against his peers earlier in his career. Mario came back after two retirements and a bout with cancer and dominated to almost the exact same degree he did before his retirement. Jagr’s achievements are well documented, but in his mid-40s he is still doing better than his teammates. Wonder what it would look like if we grabbed an elite player from 1990 and plunked him into the league now? The closest we can get is Jagr, except he has the body of a 45 year old, instead of a 25 year old as you were contemplating before. He is still crushing it.

        Maybe you will say “well those are the 10-20% that would make the league”, but the fact is they were dominant players against their peers when they were young, and they were just as dominant when their peers were replaced with a newer, more modern generation of players (and they were all well past their peaks and still dominated). They were just good players. The elites of every generation tend to be comparably elite – the talent pool is more static than you think, and most of the march forward in ability is due to things that are independent of talent: equipment and training habits.

        If Wayne played the game today he would not be faster than Connor McDavid. Gretzky was never all that fast. He would be craftier, and he would alternate between speeding the game up and slowing the game down, and he would dissect the other team and make the puck do the work. That’s how he operated. In play style (not stature) Wayne was more like Drai than McDavid. Of the old elites, McDavid is more like Bobby Orr, or possibly Lafleur. McDavid doesn’t like to slow the game down (the only time he does stuff slow is when he slams on his breaks suddenly – a thing Bobby Orr would do) – he speeds it up faster than anyone but him can handle. That’s his special thing.

    • Spydyr

      I had the pleasure to watch Gretzky in his prime and now McDavid. McDavid is very good a generational player Gretzky was great a once in a lifetime player.

      • tkfisher

        Which is exactly my point. Gretzky was far better and more entertaining to watch in comparison to his peers. But if you put McDavid with his sill set from today, back on the ice in 1979-1988 he would would have put up bigger numbers. The game as a whole has improved and is more difficult to score with more talent parity. If you don’t believe me pull up some footage, watch a 3rd pairing Defense skate or a goalie in his tiny equipment play goal without todays butterfly style, etc. The game as a whole is on another level today compared to 1980. Mike Bossy was an excellent player but those on the ice snap shots from the board by the face circle don’t go in as often in todays game.

        • Spydyr

          It is difficult to compare era’s sure Mcdavid is faster then Gretzky but no one, no one thought the game like Gretzky. Bossy with his release would still be a leading NHL scorer today. Orr played in even a different era but he would still rule the game today.

          Are you old enough to have seen Gretzky play game in game out in his prime?

  • Was McDavid handicapped by his linemates? Could he have hit 100 sooner if he carried on with Maroon after their obvious chemistry late last season?

    I really wonder that. Not everyone can play with McDavid, that much should be obvious. Some complementary players are needed to truly leverage his talents.

  • The poster formerly known as Koolaid drinker #33

    Gretzky vs McDavid

    Interesting topic. Gretzky would be my choice. I’ve never seen anyone control the game like him. He was a puppet master no matter the tempo of the game.

    Love McDavid but if Wayne grew up in this era, he would have benefited from all the advances in technology, training and nutrition. So he would be faster and stronger with the same brain. That my friends is a scary, scary thought. Plus there’s no redline so he would have 100 assists in 45 games.

    I think we can all agree that to be able to have this convo about two Oilers is a bblessing from the hickey gods.

  • OilCan2

    Congrats to Connor & Leon for becoming Centurians.

    It will sure be fun to watch them both in the future.

    The old argument of the eras is alive and well with Connor vs the Hall of Famers like Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, Jagr etc. The winner of that one is every fan watching Connor this season.

  • Pouzar99

    I love McDavid and I think he will be one of the greatest players in NHL history, but at this point he is clearly not as good as Gretzky was at the same time. Just like everyone else. At this point his adjusted stats are akin to Crosby and Ovechkin, which is very big league territory, but not Gretzky league territory. Only Mario Lemieux, among forwards, is in that range, though not quite up with 99. Maybe Connor’s upward curve will accelerate in the next few years and he might deserve to be up with the absolute cream of the crop. I sure hope so. But by the end of his rookie season Gretzky was already the best player in the world and by the end of year 2 he was miles ahead of anyone else and stayed there, sometimes by ridiculous margins. If you are familiar with dominance ratio you should realize that any athlete can only be fairly compared by how much they dominated their peers. Besides it is too early to say just how great McDavid is until all the cards are dealt. By the way, yes, goalies are better today, but not remotely as good as unrefined numbers might suggest. The massive increases in the size of their equipment is the biggest factor, as a glance at any game from the 80s will show.

  • Spoils

    at the oilers alumni reunion Moose was asked how would his oilers have fared against today’s teams and he said something like: “we had wayne.”

    love these comparisons, and the fact that McDavid inspires them!

    don’t miss a game is what I say.

  • Mitch92

    I love Connor and I consider McDavid on par with a young Wayne Gretzky until I go watch the tapes and think that Wayne would still be the best player in the game if he were starting out today. The unaccounted speed and ability to turn on a dime to create time and space is unparalleled even at today’s standards. The average player is light years ahead of where he was in the eighties but Wayne would still be on top. Go watch some video.