29 Days Until The Season Begins

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
6 months ago
Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be counting down the days until the Edmonton Oilers begin their 2023-24 season with a daily trip down memory lane. Today at No. 29 we have Leon Draisaitl, who ranks sixth in all-time Oilers scoring following a 128-point season in 2022-23.
After selecting first overall in back-to-back-to-back years at the beginning of the decade, the Oilers struck gold at third overall in 2014. They selected Leon Draisaitl from the Prince Albert Raiders, a prodigy in his home country who had become known as the German Gretzky.

Edmonton Journal Newspaper Clipping From June 28, 2014.

Draisaitl was selected by the Raiders with the second overall pick in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. He scored 58 points over 64 games for Prince Albert in his first season in North America and then broke out with 105 points in 64 games in his draft season.
The Oilers were badly in need of a big centre who could play effectively along the boards and Draisaitl was immediately thrown into the deep end. He scored nine points over 37 games with the Oilers during the 2014-15 season before the organization opted to let him develop in the WHL.
The Raiders dealt Draisaitl to the Kelowna Rockets to help the team load up for a run at the Memorial Cup. Draisaitl scored 53 points in 32 games for the Rockets and then exploded with 28 points in 19 playoff games. The Rockets lost in the final to the Oshawa Generals but Draisaitl was named Memorial Cup MVP.
Draisaitl started the 2015-16 season in the AHL but was called up to the Oilers after six games and hasn’t looked back since. He scored 51 points in 72 games in his first season in the NHL and improved to 77 points in 82 games in 2016-17. Draisaitl played a big role in leading the Oilers back into the playoffs for the first time in over a decade and he led the team in scoring with 16 points over 13 games.
In the following off-season, the Oilers and Draisaitl agreed to an eight-year, $68 million contract. There was some criticism over the contract because of the suggestion that Draisaitl’s success was partially due to him playing with Connor McDavid but the German Gretzky has proven his doubters to be incredibly wrong.
Since signing that contract, Draisaitl has had three 50-goal seasons and four 100-point campaigns. He scored 43 goals and 110 points during the 2019-20 season and won the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Trophy, and the Ted Lindsay Award. The next trophy that this Hall of Fame career needs is a Stanley Cup.


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