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Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports

There’s no comparison between Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl

Every so often, a particularly exuberant fan of the Edmonton Oilers will project Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl as the next Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. More rarely – but it happens – such a fan will suggest that McDavid and Draisaitl are of nearly equal value to Edmonton.

These comparisons are ludicrous, because Crosby, McDavid and Malkin belong to one tier of NHL player. Draisaitl isn’t close to any of them.

Don’t believe me? Just look at what these players were able to accomplish on their entry-level contacts:

Sidney Crosby

  • Hart Trophy
  • Lester B. Pearson Award
  • Art Ross Trophy
  • First-team NHL All-Star

Crosby broke into the NHL in stunning fashion. After narrowly missing out on the Calder Trophy as a rookie to Alex Ovechkin, Crosby dominated the league in his second season. Injury took him out of the running for the Hart Trophy in his third year.

Connor McDavid

  • Hart Trophy
  • Ted Lindsay Award
  • Art Ross Trophy
  • First-team NHL All-Star

McDavid would have won the 2016 Calder Trophy, too, but was injured and thus narrowly lost to 25-year-old Artemi Panarin and his decade of experience. He still has a year left on his entry-level deal and could very well win his second Hart Trophy next season.

Evgeni Malkin

  • Conn Smythe Trophy
  • Calder Trophy
  • Art Ross Trophy
  • Two-time First-team NHL All-Star
  • Stanley Cup

Unlike Crosby and McDavid, Malkin didn’t win the league MVP award during his entry-level deal, finishing as runner-up in both his second and third seasons in the NHL. He was named the league’s best centre in both of those years, though, and also was named playoff MVP after Pittsburgh’s 2009 Stanley Cup win.

Leon Draisaitl

  • No individual awards
  • No team awards

Draisaitl’s high-water mark came in the third year of his entry-level deal, when while playing as a right wing on a line with the NHL’s undisputed MVP he managed to finish fourth in voting for a slot on the all-star team. The league uses a weighted system under which Draisaitl received 26 points, putting him well back of Patrick Kane (669), Nikita Kucherov (553) and Vladimir Tarsenko (163).

Three of the players on this list are franchise talents, and Pittsburgh has been lucky enough to play two of them together for their entire NHL careers. Connor McDavid is also a franchise player, and his accomplishments are on-par with, and may perhaps exceed, those of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Leon Draisaitl is a very good hockey player, but he isn’t even in the same conversation as those guys. McDavid’s contract should have no bearing whatsoever on Draisaitl’s eventual compensation, because McDavid isn’t remotely a comparable.

  • madjam

    Are we entering the Twilight Zone with Connor and Leon ? Is Leon entering those lofty heights of being best power forward in the league (elite extrodinaire) ? 11.25M and 13.25M =25M and 30% of cap space which reduces to about 22.5 % over those 8 years with cap going up about 3M a year . Can we work successfully with that ? Yes , as Pitts. and Chicago have shown with multiple Stanley cups . Crosby , Malkin and Kessler are drawing 29M this season and Letang 7.2M . They can even afford Schultz at 5.5 M . Look at what Chicago can afford to bring in with their many lofty salaries .

  • Explicit

    I agree draisaitl isn’t in the same tier as those guys. But if you pay mcdavid 13mil, can you tell draisaitl he’s worth 5-6 mil less? That would be a hard sell I think