Photo Credit: Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

Finding McDavid’s Shooter

Connor McDavid scored 100 points this season, with Patrick Maroon and Leon Draisaitl as his wingers. Although both wingers clearly have good chem with 97, neither man is a volume shooter. Plenty of brilliant chances are not finding net, and I believe one of Peter Chiarelli’s main shopping items this summer will be a first-person shooter.

SHOTS PER 60 AT 5X5 (500+ minutes)

  • No. 51 Connor McDavid 8.70
  • No. 131 Patrick Maroon 7.37
  • No. 328 Leon Draisaitl 5.28
  • Source

It seems reasonable to me that Peter Chiarelli find a winger who shoots as often as McDavid for his line. Fair? The Top 50 shooters (5×5 shots per 60) are about what you might expect: Impact players, well-paid and locked up long term. There are some nice options for Peter Chiarelli to pursue, and here are a few:

  • Evander Kane, Buffalo Sabres. He ranked No. 2 on this list in 2016-17, with 12.13 shots per 60. There are some issues with this player, and he makes over $5 million while being a UFA next summer. He is an interesting option.
  • Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes. A long shot acquisition because I don’t know why they would deal him, but Skinner delivered 11.01 shots per 60 and finished No. 8 among NHL regulars this year.
  • Jakob Silfverberg, Anaheim Ducks. He ranked No. 23 on the list with 9.76 shots per 60. I know this is a long shot, after all the Ducks are unlikely to trade with Edmonton. However, Anaheim has some expansion protection issues, perhaps there is a trade option there.
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche. He ranked No. 25 with a 9.57 shots per 60 total. He is signed long term to a big deal, and for an expensive number ($6.3 million cap hit). He is a Peter Chiarelli type player, might be an interesting trade option.
  • Patrick Eaves, Anaheim Ducks. He ranked No. 29 at 9.27 shots per 60 and is a free agent this summer. He is a veteran coming off a monster season, so there are some worries about giving him a longer term deal.


Oliver Bjorkstrand. He’s just getting started, and the Columbus Blue Jackets probably want to see how he turns out, but this is a very interesting player. I tracked him leading up to the 2013 draft, he was probably worth a late first or second-round pick. Columbus got him at No. 89, because they looked past his lack of size. Bjorkstrand made the NHL this season and posted 8.92 shots per 60 this season in less than 400 minutes. He may surge in year two and turn into exactly the kind of shooter the Oilers need for this line. I think Peter Chiarelli may be looking to find Connor McDavid’s shooter this summer. It could be one of these men.

  • Bob Cobb

    You want a one trick pony, what about Kovalchuk? He wants to come back to the NHL, see if you would be able to agree to a sign and trade for him from the Devils, if they still own his rights. He would add a right hand shot to the point, or where Ovechkin likes to set up on the off wing, on the power play. If they could get him for 2 years it would be an option.

    • Can't Fix Stupid

      Kovalchuk’s contract runs another 9 more years with an AAV of $6.6 million which would take him to 43 years of age. Between McDavid, Draisaitl, Talbot, Lucic, RNH, and Eberle how does Kovalchuk’s boat anchor of a contract help us in the salary cap world? No thanks. This is a sucker’s pick up.

  • I am Batman

    I tho y’all the Eberle fans would be up in arms saying “Ebs will put 50 in with McDavid ”
    What happened? Not so much???
    The pleasure of saying: “I told you so”. Even yak would be more useful