I hope you’re all enjoying your Thanksgiving long weekend, and that part of the festivities includes taking some time to be thankful for the blessings in your life. When that comes to our beloved Edmonton Oilers, I’ve got a few things that I’m thankful for as we draw nearer to the 2022-23 NHL season.
With only a few sleeps left to get through until the start of a fresh campaign, I decided to compile a top-5 list:

CONNOR McDAVID

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This one is pretty obvious, right? I mean, how many nights have we had over the last seven years where Connor McDavid has done something so ridiculous that it’s blown our brains out the back of our collective skulls? Whether it was an end-to-end rush that ends up in a goal or the way he thinks the game at a level we’ve never seen before, there is so much to love about Connor McDavid that it makes me thankful that I even have the opportunity to write about him. He is the best player on earth and it’s not even close, and I hope we can all take moments to remember that this season as he’s working his magic. Since he was drafted, we’ve talked about how lucky we are to have him on our squad, and seeing as this is a Thanksgiving article about being thankful, how could I not start my list with him?

LEON DRAISAITL

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If I’m going to start this article with Connor, then the only choice for #2 on my reasons to be thankful list is Leon Draisaitl. The second half of the most dynamic duo in the NHL, Leon Draisaitl would be a franchise player on any other team in the league if it were not for his partner in crime, Connor McDavid. A stud in his own right, Draisaitl plays a completely different style of game than McDavid does, and it’s been a truckload of fun to watch him develop into the league’s premiere power forward that no one seems able to handle. The guy is a warlord on the ice, and the combination of size, skill, and rugged handsomeness is a real treat to watch. For his opponents, however, you’d have to think that it’s a nightmare to see Leon bearing down on you with the puck on his stick because you have absolutely no idea whether he’ll burn you with a move, a shot, or a pass to someone you didn’t know was there. How else could you describe what he does?

THE TOP NINE

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When I look at the Oilers’ roster, I see the best top nine group that I’ve ever had the privilege of watching with this team, and I’m incredibly eager to see how it all comes together. With more skill and speed available than ever before, the Oilers should be able to throw waves of offense at their opposition and that’s going to create some interesting matchup decisions, especially on the road. Obviously, we know that McDavid and Draisaitl will draw the toughest pairings/shutdown centremen, but having a bunch of other players throughout the lineup that can chip in with some goals is a luxury that I’m incredibly thankful to have. Sure, there are some players that will need to take a step forward to make sure this threat is legit — a big step in some cases — but with a little luck and a whole lot of hard work, I see an Oilers team that’s going to score goals in bunches and that’s very exciting.

JAY WOODCROFT

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I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say that the Nation is excited to see what Jay Woodcroft can do with a full year behind the bench after what he got done with half. From his positive attitude to the power poses to the way changed the team’s style in record time, Jay Woodcroft is the kind of coach that I truly believe can take us to the next level. Not only is he a student of the game and always well-prepared, but his demeanor and delivery could be just what the doctor ordered for a group of players that clearly needed a softer touch. Now that we’ve got him locked in for the next three years, I believe Jay Woodcroft has the mix of skills, knowledge, and demeanor to take us to the next level and build upon what was done this past year. Not only am I thankful that the Oilers took the approach of bringing up the coach that they’ve been working with for years, but I’m also thankful for the way he’s handled the opportunity so far. Woody, we speak your name!

A NORMAL SEASON WOULD BE NICE

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After the way the last two seasons were all bunged up due to COVID, I’m extremely thankful that we’re basically back to normal in terms of what’s to come this season. *knocks furiously on wood* As much as it was awesome to have a full schedule in 2021-22, the fact that we still had basically two months packed with rescheduled games was incredibly frustrating for the fans and players alike. You never knew for sure if the game you were planning to watch (or had tickets for) was actually going to go ahead, and I’m incredibly thankful that those days look to be behind us. I think it’s safe to say that we all battled the last two years in countless ways, and I can think of no greater reason to be thankful than for us all to have some normalcy back.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

THE SEASON LAUNCH PARTY

For the first time in three seasons, we’re throwing a Season Launch Party at SOHO and you’re all invited to join us! What’s going on? I’m glad you asked.
  • Date: Saturday, October 15th, 2022
  • When: 5:00pm
  • Location: SOHO YEG (11454 Jasper Ave)
  • What’s Included: Entry to the event, Swag Bag (complete with w-shirt, stickers, GCs), entry to the giveaways, after party with RIFF/RAFF
  • How: GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!
As always, we will also be including a charity component with the event where a portion of all ticket sales will be donated directly to Sport Central to help with their mission of providing equipment and bicycles to children in need.