There is no debate who is the second best player in the NHL right now. It is Leon Draisaitl.
— Draisaitl leads the NHL in goals with 15 in 14 games. He is first in points with 31. He averages the ninth most faceoffs/game and is 55% in the dot. He is first forward out on a 3-on-5 penalty kill. He has outscored the opposition 19-9 at 5×5. When he isn’t on the ice the Oilers have been outscored 15-24.
— The gap between Connor McDavid, who many believe is the best player in the NHL, and Draisaitl is slimmer than the gap between Draisaitl and the third best player in the NHL. Since the start of the 2019/2020 season McDavid had 229 points. Draisaitl is next at 225. Brad Marchand is third at 175 and the top-10 consists of Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin (168), Patrick Kane (165), Auston Matthews (158), David Pastrnak (156), Jonathon Huberdeau (153) and Mitch Marner (148).
— In that time Draisaitl has been on the ice for 143 goals for and 104 against at 5×5. He has a 57.8GF% (+39). Panarin is first at 62.9% (+47) in that span. Draisaitl makes an impact when he is on the ice. He has picked up a point on 77.6% of the goals he’s been on the ice for at 5×5 since the start of the 2019/2020 season.
— Draisaitl has played the most games and the most minutes of any of the top scorers. He is durable and very versatile. He has morphed from being an elite passer to now becoming an elite shooter. Since the start of 2019/2020 he is second in the NHL in goals with 89 trailing Matthews (94). Matthews has 568 shots compared to Draisaitl’s 433. Alex Ovechkin is third in goals with 84 and has 558 shots. Draisaitl has scored on 20.6% of his shots while Matthews is at 16.6% and Ovechkin’s at 15.1%. And while Draisaitl is very close in goals to those elite shooters, he crushes them in assists. He has 136, while Matthews has 64 and Ovechkin 51.
— He’s off to a crazy start this season with 31 points in 14 games. To put that in perspective, 114 players had more than 31 points all of last season. Only 64 players had more than 40 points.
— He has 15 goals in 14 games. No active NHLer has scored 16 goals in their first 15 games of a season. Ovechkin, Matthews and Pastrnak each tallied 15 goals in 15 games.
If Draisaitl scores 25 goals in his next 36 games he’d have the most goals among all active players in the first 50 games of a season. Ovechkin had 39 goals in his first 50 games in 2008 when he scored 65. Steven Stamkos had 38 goals in first 50 games when he finished with 60 goals in 2012. Draisaitl could push for 60 goals this season. When he scored 50 goals in 2019 he had 27 goals in his first 50 games.
— Draisaitl already has eight games with three or more points this season and has combined for 12-14-26 in those eight games. His career high is 14 games. The most three-point games in a season in the 2000s was 19 set by Joe Sakic in 2001.
McDavid had 18 last season in only 56 games and was on pace for 26, which would have been 14th all time and the most by any player not named Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, who make up the top-13 all time.
Draisaitl’s hot start makes you think it is very possible he could become the first player since Jaromir Jagr (25) and Lemieux (29) to have 20 games with three or more points. Impressive.
— What is so unique about Draisaitl is his versatility. His head coach Dave Tippett shared his thoughts on Draisaitl’s evolution as a player.
“He is a power forward. When he plays centre as a power forward he is strong defender, strong on the faceoffs, but then when you play him with Connor (McDavid) he turns into more of a shooter,” said Tippett. “It is amazing he has the ability to play different roles in the game. It makes him a versatile and top, top-end player.”
— Mikko Koskinen was stellar last night. “According to clear sight analytics, the Blues had 16 high quality chances, which was tied for most in any NHL game this season. That was considered a stolen game by Koskinen,” said Kevin Woodley from In Goal Magazine. Great news for Koskinen, but it also illustrates the Oilers need to shore up their 5×5 defensive play. They are giving up too many quality chances.
— Oilers have won six consecutive regular season games against the Jets.
— Odd stat of the day: Pierre-Luc Dubois has eight goals this season. Five of them have come in the first five minutes of a period.
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