On June 26th, 2015, the Edmonton Oilers franchise changed forever after they were lucky enough to walk up to the podium and call out Connor McDavid’s name with the first overall pick.
Can you believe it’s already been five years since the Oilers pulled a horseshoe out of their ass and were fortunate enough to the draft Connor McDavid? Even though we’ve already watched him played 351 games (at the time of posting) as an Oiler, my brain still has a hard time computing that he’s actually here. Looking back at how it all went down, the fact that none of us had any expectations that the Oilers were going to win the lottery with only an 11.5% chance of pulling it off makes the whole story that much more meaningful. Not only did we get to enjoy the shock and elation that came with the golden ticket, but we were also gifted endless laughs that came at the expense of every other fanbase in the league. They said we didn’t deserve it, we told them to bump it off down the road — those are priceless moments, friends.
Back on April 18th, I tried to put into words how I felt the moment when Bill Daly flipped the golden ticket over:
Do you remember where you were when the news broke that the Oilers had won the lottery to end all lotteries? I certainly do. I was posted up on my couch, mostly ignoring the draft lottery as I had already resigned myself to thinking that the Oilers would take Dylan Strome or Noah Hanifin or something like that. Sure, I had Sportsnet on in the background just so that I could find out how things played out, but I never in a million years would have expected the Oilers to be the ones that pulled this clutch win out of their asses. With only an 11.5% chance to win, I had written off the idea entirely and felt like we had used all of our lottery luck over the three-straight drafts where the team picked up Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, and Yakupov. So when Daly flipped the golden ticket card over, signifying that we had won the opportunity to draft Connor McDavid, I thought I was going to lose it.
Do you remember where you were on draft lottery night? What about during the actual NHL Entry Draft? That night, we hosted a draft party at The Pint downtown and I remember spending a minute looking around the bar to try and soak in the atmosphere because it was unlike anything I had ever seen before, at least, not in my time here at the Nation. Not only were we there with 400 of our closest friends to celebrate what was undoubtedly the beginning of a new era of being an Oilers fan but also the start of what were hopefully better days to come, something that hasn’t exactly happened as often as we’d like so far. Thankfully, after only one playoff appearance over the first four seasons of his career, it seems like this team is starting to turn the corner a little bit, which is not only what we deserve as fans but what McDavid deserves as well.
As always, the point of me writing a different version of this article every year is not to re-live the 2015 NHL Draft but to make sure we all take a minute to remember how lucky we are to have Connor McDavid on the team, and to send a friendly reminder to the franchise that his career is a finite resource that deserves respect. This year would have been only the second time in five years that Connor was going to get into the playoffs, and with only 13 postseason games under his belt, we need the organization to remember not only today but every day how important it is to surround him with a team that can compete. Right now, it’s hard to describe how upsetting it is to not be able to watch 97 in the playoffs as he continues to build his resume as one of the best to ever do it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a few minutes to appreciate the moment he got here. Happy Connorversary, Nation.
McDavid’s Career So Far