Why He Made the List
Draisaitl made the list because here at Copper and Blue, we’re not completely stupid. Yes, I know that there are some out hockey fans out there who might argue that point, but it’s true. Leon Draisaitl is the type of young talent which a group of writers would have to be foolish not to include in a list like this.
He’s been successful at all levels of hockey he’s played in. His best season to date, by a large margin, was last season. There’s 35 points or so between him and the Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Draisaitl managed to achieve success despite bouncing between line mates and roles (centre or winger) in one of the NHL’s worst teams. Much like Connor McDavid, if the Oilers recover and become a force in the NHL, it will be because they build carefully around what McDavid and Draisaitl bring to the table.
In many objective metrics – goals, assists, time on ice, and games played – Draisaitl is the Oilers forward who is closest to McDavid in producing results. And when Draisaitl and McDavid play together – which many probable line combinations seem to hint at for the upcoming season – they are the most dangerous players on the ice.
In short, Draisaitl is not just the second-best Oiler under the age of 25, he’s the second-best Oiler. Period.
Why He Made the List at 2
Well, I really only have two words for you here: Connor McDavid.
On a team without McDavid, Draisaitl would be a comfortable number one in the Top 25 Under 25, especially given his season last year. He has proven himself able to play with a variety of line mates – some of questionable ability – in the last four years. He’s generally improved his performance each year.
Draisaitl basically has everything going for him expect the fact he’s not Connor McDavid. One year older than McDavid, it seems that Draisaitl is destined to remain a number two after Connor McDavid for the rest of his time as part of the Top 25 Under 25.
At least that’s the best case scenario of Oilers fans.