Random Thoughts: The Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl bromance, and high hopes for Dylan Holloway

8 months ago
What could be better than kicking off your Tuesday morning with a few of my random Oilers thoughts to kick off your day and help you waste a few minutes of company time? There is nothing better, I assure you. Especially when it feels like forever since we’ve gotten our fix of the Dynamic Duo and their spectacular bromance.

The Zach Hyman Celebrity Classic is the best

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On Monday afternoon, Oilers Twitter got flooded with pictures of our beloved heroes after they all got together for the Zach Hyman Celebrity Classic to help raise money for SickKids, UJA Toronto, and UJA Edmonton. Not only is it great to see the guys support their teammate by attending the event, but this tourney always seems to offer up a few moments that grab our attention, and I wanted to kick off the article by thanking Zach Hyman for the mid-summer content dump. Obviously, the most important part about this golf tournament is the money they raise for charity, but for the rest of us, it also provides an opportunity to see the boys at the peak of the summer dead zone and for that I thank you.

The Dynamic Bromance

Before the pictures started coming out from the Zach Hyman golf tourney, I didn’t realize how much I needed to see pictures of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl being besties again. Frankly, I’ve been living the Summer of Baggedmilk that’s seen me ripping all over the city in the Stelvio that the fine folks at Alfa Romeo of Edmonton let me drive, meaning I haven’t been paying attention to a whole lot. One thing that can stop me in my tracks, however, is a fresh pic of the Dynamic Duo looking handsome and bromantic together.
So when the pic of them looking handsome while sharing a golf cart hit the streets, it felt like the Oilers’ social media team slapped me across the face when they knew I wasn’t paying attention. It was a power move, and I loved it. Not only are these two the best hockey players on earth, but they’ve also developed the kind of relationship that should be documented in finely sculpted marble. Toss in the fact that this picture is coming out less than a week after Bob Stauffer talked about both of them being better than 50/50 for long-term extensions and you’ve got the makings of me ripping a hole clean through me trousers. Too much? Probably too much.

Connor on Connor

One of the things Connor McDavid got asked about at yesterday’s tourney was what he expects from his new (old) teammate, Connor Brown. Even though we didn’t get a whole lot, you could tell that the captain was excited about reuniting with his old junior teammate:
“I’m really excited about it. I think he’s a great addition to our group. He fits in perfectly, in the room and on the ice. He’s a really smart player and he’s really competitive. I remember being a 15-year-old kid in the OHL and he was trying to develop his game and he was just so competitive.”
I know compete level is the kind of hockey phrase that gets thrown around too much, but having more guys on the roster with engines that don’t quit can only be a positive thing. I think of when Zach Hyman first showed up after weeks of hearing about his willingness to compete, and now that we’ve watched him for a couple of seasons, I could only hope for 10 more of him on the roster. If Connor Brown comes to town with that kind of work ethic in tow — Captain Connor certainly believes that will be the case — then it won’t be long until he’s a fan favourite and we’re all clamouring for an extension.
No pressure, Connor 2. Welcome to Edmonton.

Are you trolling me?

Photo: Twitter.com/EdmontonOilers
If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the Oilers’ social team was trolling us with this picture of Ryan McLeod and Evan Bouchard riding in the same cart as if we haven’t all been waiting for both of them to sign new contracts. We all know that what happens with one of these guys directly affects the other, and this picture almost feels like some kind of strange metaphor. Then again, I do tend to overexaggerate the meaning of these things from time to time. Either way, the clock is ticking before McLeod runs the arbitration gauntlet with his employer, and it’s going to be fascinating to see how this whole thing plays out. While I love that Clouder and Dad are smiling in this photo, the clock is ticking to find out if it’s bros before dough.

High Hopes for Dylan Holloway

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One of the players I’m most excited to watch this season is Dylan Holloway. After I personally expected the moon from him last year after a strong training camp and pre-season, Holloway struggled to find traction at the NHL level like so many young players before him. In 51 games played with the Oilers, Hollywood put up three goals and nine points, which was a far cry from the 50 points I had predicted he would get before this season.
That’s not to say that I’m disappointed in how things went — it was my fault for predicting such a lofty number for a kid who had yet to play a regular season game — because Holloway didn’t get much leash in his first NHL campaign. On any given night, he was given a handful of minutes at the bottom of the lineup, and while that might have been fine to get his feet wet, a player with his skill set is best served to play in an offensive role. This time around, I’m expecting Holloway to feel much more comfortable at the highest level, and I would also expect that Jay Woodcroft will give him more opportunities. Not only do the Oilers need Holloway to take a step forward given the cap situation and prospect pool, but I’d be willing to bet that he rises to the challenge. And while I won’t predict anything like him to hit 50 points like I did last year, I won’t be surprised if he cashes in 10-12 goals for 30+ points. Maybe it’s a way-too-early prediction for the 14th overall pick from 2020, but I’m feeling bullish on the kid and I’m looking forward to seeing him do his thing.

Better Lait Than Never

Just because the Oilers aren’t giving us anything to talk about doesn’t mean I don’t still have plenty of useless information to talk about. Subscribe to Better Lait Than Never on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or anywhere else you get podcasts. New episodes come out every Wednesday.

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